October 16, 2021

PH economy is being boosted by a more aggressive vaccination campaign

Given the government’s vaccination program being stepped up, an economist from the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) predicts that the Philippine economy would begin to rebound this year.

AMRO chief economist Dr. Hoe Ee Khor stated in a virtual briefing on Thursday, October 7, 2021, that they lowered their 2021 growth estimate for the Philippines to 4.3 percent from 6.9 percent announced in March, partially due to an increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

The AMRO also lowered its domestic economic growth estimate for 2022 from 7.8% to 6.7 percent.

Despite the reduced GDP forecasts for the next two years, Khor stated the most important thing is that the government has increased its immunization campaign against Covid-19.

He highlighted the government’s goal of vaccinating approximately 80% of the population by the first quarter of next year.

“And I believe it will be extremely significant and beneficial to the Philippines because, unlike many of the other nations in the area, the Philippines is primarily a service-oriented economy.” That is why they have been impacted harder than some of the other nations in the area,” he said.

Once the economy opens up, Khor believes it would be able to “bounce back fairly quickly.”

He said that the nation still has policy room open to assist the business community throughout the recovery period.

“We’ve actually urged the government to utilize the policy space they have to prevent damaging the economy and enable companies to recover more quickly,” he said.

Khor was convinced that if policymakers used all of their policy options, they would be able to meet at least AMRO’s 2022 growth estimate.

“I believe they’ll be nearly back to pre-pandemic levels when that occurs,” he added.

After taking into account the effect of recent lockdowns, economists have lowered their growth forecast for this year to 4% to 5%, while the forecast for 2022 has been maintained at 7% to 9%.

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