Meeting 2018 GDP target ‘possible but difficult’ — DOF

Published August 14, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) remains positive that the country’s economy would grow at a pace targeted by the government despite the “disappointing” second-quarter expansion rate.

Gil S. Beltran
Gil S. Beltran

Finance Undersecretary and Chief Economist Gil S. Beltran said that attaining at least the low-end of this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target is still possible, citing the country had already expanded by at least 7.8 percent before.

But Beltran also acknowledged that the economic growth target this year of 7.0 percent to 8.0 percent is a “difficult” assumption, but added “there’s nothing easy in this world anyway.”

In the first semester, the country’s GDP increased by 6.3 percent, below the Duterte administration’s economic growth target.

“We need a growth rate of 7.7 percent to be able to achieve 7.0 percent, and we achieved that before, it’s not new,” Beltran told reporters in an interview at the DOF headquarters.

According to Beltran, the economy had jumped by 7.7 percent during the term of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He said the expected increase in GDP in the second-half will be driven by industries, noting that capital formation soared by 20.7 percent in the quarter ending June.

“While the growth rate [in the second-quarter] was disappointing to us because it’s slower than what we thought we will achieve, there is that silver lining in the growth performance, the fastest growing sector is capital formation,” Beltran said.

“We believe that in the future quarters we will be able to perform better because once the factories, the machines that were purchased in the second-quarter will be operational, we expect that the growth will accelerate in the future quarters,” he added.