Marcos: PH inflation ‘moving in right direction’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is bullish about the economy, with prices of goods and services “moving in the right direction.”

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Marcos said elevated inflation has been the country's “biggest problem” in the past year in the wake of supply issues triggered by the Ukraine-Russia war, worsened by the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said these caused oil prices to skyrocket and passed on the cost of goods and services.

“Last year, we emphasized several strong headwinds that were confronting us and the rest of the world amid our post-pandemic economic recovery, and the biggest problem we faced was inflation,” he said.

Filipinos saw inflation rates surged in the late months of 2022, with the figure peaking in January at 8.7% - the highest since November 2008.

Economists earlier warned that if the government fails to tame the rising commodity prices, this would continue to dampen consumer spending.

Consumer spending is considered a main driver of the economy.

After several months, Marcos said that inflation is finally “moving in the right direction.”

“From 8.7% in January, our inflation has continued to ease up in all regions settling now at 5.4% for June,” he said.

“In spite of the difficulties, we are transforming the economy. We are stabilizing the prices of all the critical commodities,” Marcos added.

Citing projections from the central bank, Marcos said inflation is seen to further drop to 2.9% by 2024.

Still among ‘fastest growing’ economies

Marcos said that despite economic headwinds, the country still posted robust growth in 2022 of 7.6%, its fastest yet in 46 years.

“We are still considered among the fastest growing economies in the Asian region, and in the world. It is a testament to our strong macroeconomic fundamentals,” he said.

The president also said the financial system “remains strong and stable.”

“This year, the World Bank projects a 6% overall growth rate, well within the range of our targets for the year. It’s anchored on strong local demand, underpinned by consumer spending, and draws strength from the business process outsourcing industry, and of course, the steady flow of remittances and jobs recovery,” he said.

“On matters of the economy, there are many things over which we don't have control. But over those where we do have control, we are doing everything we can,” Marcos added.

Marcos said his administration continues to finance infrastructure projects, boost agricultural production, pursue strategic alliances in global trade, and develop key sectors to support economic growth.