Economic chief: Flat growth or 0.8% GDP contraction in 2020 for Philippines

  • AseanPlus News
  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

Traders look at a share prices board during trading at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Makati, suburban Manila, 13 August 2007. Share prices closed 0.40 percent lower as investors took profits from a promising start amid continuing worries about the US subprime credit crisis. Dealers said caution dominated sentiment as investors opted to await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's move to inject billions of dollars into the country's banking sector to calm the markets. The composite index lost 14.93 points to 3,267.03, off a high 3,310.24. AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD *** Local Caption *** Experts say excess liquidity will find its way into emerging markets, given their strength over the past years.- AFP

MANILA, April 9 (The Inquirer/ANN) - The Duterte administration’s chief economic manager said the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon would result in “zero to possibly negative 0.8-percent” growth in 2020“ for the Philippines.

"Definitely businesses are impacted, especially businesses in the tourism sector as well as retail sector. Our tax collections are definitely going to be a bit lower than our original target, ” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a television interview with CNBC on Wednesday.

Department of Finance (DOF) estimates had shown forgone revenues to reach P286.4 billion if gross domestic product (GDP) posted zero growth this year, or a bigger P318.9 billion if GDP contracted by 1 percent.

For the economy to immediately rebound postpandemic, Dominguez said the economic team was crafting a “bounce-back” plan while currently assessing the economic damage caused by COVID-19.

“We’ve done surveys, and so far we have 40,000 respondents. After we determine the economic damage, we will then determine what is required by sector—such as the tourism sector, the manufacturing sector, etc.; by the size of the companies—the small and medium enterprises, the big companies, and what is also needed by consumers and banks, ” Dominguez said.

Over the weekend, the DOF and the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority rolled out surveys for consumers, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as businesses in the agriculture and fisheries sectors to better prepare for a so-called new normal once the coronavirus pandemic had been contained.

Dominguez said the economic team would be putting together a comprehensive package to quickly rebound from the socioeconomic fallout caused by the new virus.

In a statement on Wednesday, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Unescap) said that the pandemic was “having far-reaching economic and social consequences for the Asia-Pacific region, with strong cross-border spillover effects through trade, tourism and financial linkages.”

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