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PIA Press Release

RP economy strong, resilient enough to buck expected slowdown of global economy in '07

Quezon City (26 October) -- Malacañang expressed confidence today that the Philippine economy is strong and resilient enough to buck an expected slowdown in the global economy next year.

"Political stability, firm economic stewardship and the spirit of the Filipino will continue to win the day," Press Secretary and concurrent Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye said in a statement.

Bunye said the Philippine economy has weathered destabilization attempts and surging oil prices in the world market, among other setbacks, and it is about to take off as shown by the encouraging economic indicators.

The peso is very strong, having breached the $1-P50 exchange rate, the stock market posted its highest gain in nine years on Wednesday, inflation remains weak, domestic borrowings are down while exports are up.

The Philippines has regained the confidence of the international financial community as shown by analyses of international credit rating agencies of the country’s economic situation.

Standard and Poor’s, Moody and Fitch said they foresee a positive credit rating for the country early next year.

Foreign investments, particularly in information and communication technology (ICT) and electronics, are up 67 percent during the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2005.

The credit rating agencies noted that indeed the Philippine economy is on the verge of a takeoff owing to the determination of its leaders to improve the country’s fiscal position and attain a balanced budget by 2008.

Finance officials said the government is on track in its budget deficit target of P125 billion this year.

"The resiliency shown by our economy as painted by both local and global analysts signals that the best is yet to come for our people as President Arroyo focuses on gearing for economic takeoff," Bunye said.

Financial giant UBS Investment Bank said that the global economy is expected to slow down next year due to a decline in US consumption, which has been the main engine of global growth for the past four years, but some countries, including the Philippines, are likely to stay resilient and post stronger growth.

The Philippines should be able to ride out the expected slowdown of the global economy because of higher domestic investments, stable inflation and interest rates, while bond prices and fiscal performance will all lead to investor confidence, UBS said. (PIA) [top]

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