ADB slashes PH growth outlook for 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed its economic forecast for the Philippines this year amid persistent elevated inflation and external headwinds.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Manila-based lender said it now expects the Philippine economy to expand by 5.7%, a downward revision from its 6% growth forecast in April and a sharp slowdown from 2022's 7.6%.

READ: Strongest since 1976: PH records 7.6% economic growth in 2022

For 2024, the ADB still sees the gross domestic product or GDP to realize a growth of 6.2%.

While the local inflation print recorded improvements in the past months, authorities reported a faster figure for August after typhoons hit the country's agriculture sector.

The ADB said the looming impact of El Niño, potential weather disturbances, pressures from global commodity prices, as well as transport and fuel price hikes could weigh down on taming inflation.

Global challenges, meanwhile, include "geopolitical tensions and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in major advanced economies," the ADB said.

Despite these, ADB Philippines Country Director Pavit Ramachandran expressed optimism that the economic growth "remains strong despite an expected moderation in 2023."

"Public investment and private spending fueled by the low unemployment rate, sustained increase in remittances from Filipinos overseas, and buoyant services including tourism will support growth," Ramachandran said.

"The government's large infrastructure projects should further stimulate consumption, boost jobs, and spur more investment," he added.

The Marcos administration targets a growth range of 6% to 7% this year.