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PIA Press Release

NEDA sees more positive growth in Q2'09

Manila, June 3 (PNA) -- With the actual implementation of infrastructure projects materializing in the second quarter this year, a National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) official on Tuesday said the domestic economy would continue to grow amid the crisis.

NEDA Director Dennis Arroyo told reporters that with spending taking place in the second quarter of the year the economy would see rosier growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), after the 0.4 percent it registered from January to March this year.

He explained that government infrastructure agencies spent the first quarter of the year for paper works, bidding and contracting.

"The actual digging (and) construction is in the second quarter so spending will be felt in the second quarter," he said.

Another factor to the more positive growth in the second quarter is the inflows of remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs), he said.

Arroyo, meanwhile, cited another possible downward revision of targets for the whole year.

The government has revised downward several times its growth targets for this year due to the global crisis.

To date, the growth target for the year is between a range of 3.1-4.1 percent.

Arroyo declined to give figures that might be considered by the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).

For NEDA, however, the assumption might be "lower" basically because of the "low growth in the first quarter," he said.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves earlier said possible changes in the government's macroeconomic assumptions will be discussed in the next DBCC meeting.

He noted that the option to further hike expenditures this year is still open to meet government's growth targets.

Factors that contributed to the decline in the domestic economy's output in the first quarter this year will be reviewed, he said.

Teves said they will also review impact of revenue shortfall to the first quarter growth.

Government revenue collection from January to March this year dropped by 7.2 percent to P235.4 billion from year-ago's P253.5 billion, P16.4 billion short of the P251.8 billion program for the quarter.

"We'll see if additional spending is needed to bring us closer to target," Teves added. (PNA) [top]

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