NEDA confident PH will hit economic growth target for 2023

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — Economic managers remain confident the government will hit its growth target of 6%-7% this year as state agencies accelerate their spending coupled with cooling inflation.

This is despite the slowdown in economic growth to 4.2% in the second quarter due to government underspending and the effects of elevated inflation. First quarter gross domestic product growth was at 6.4%.

During a Palace briefing on Wednesday, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said agencies have already presented their plans to catch up on spending and implementing projects.

“We have identified the sources of the slowdown and we think that we can speed up the implementation of projects and programs to benefit the economy for the second half of the year,” Balisacan said.

“So the things that were not spent in the first half could be spent in the second half and so it will get recorded as part of the economic activities during the second half,” he added.

The NEDA official reiterated that the local economy must expand by 6.6% in the second half of the year to hit even the lower end of the target.

Balisacan was also optimistic that the robust demand usually being recorded in the last stretch of every year amid the holiday season could further lift the Philippine economy.

The drop in the inflation rate, which has been on a downtrend since February, would also provide “a big boost to domestic demand,” he added.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Rex Remitio contributed to this report.