Sunday, 10 May 2009

Philippines -- Inflation down; exchange rate up; 4% growth very possible in 2009

While most countries worldwide continue to reel from negative or no- growth situations, the Philippines is experiencing three positive economic developments: lower inflation rate, weathering the global economic slump and indications that it will post growth this year.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) reported over the weekend that inflation was down to 4.8 percent, the lowest in 16 months, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The same report said the Philippines has weathered the worst of the worldwide economic slump and is on track to register a 4 percent growth this year.

Another bit of good news is that the peso continued to gain against the US dollar.

The “worst seems to be over for the Philippines,” NEDA said.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan this afternoon, said these economic indicators are good signs for the economy. They could indicate that the worst is over and the best is yet to come, he added.

He attributed these positive developments to the able management of the economy by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, especially the fiscal reforms that she adopted even before the current financial crisis swept across continents.

Remonde cited the President’s push for the unpopular expanded value added tax (EVAT), “for which she had been condemned and criticized and for which she has paid a very dear political price.”

As shown by the President, “real leadership means making the right decisions, no matter how unpopular they are,” he said.

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