6.5% – 7% GDP growth in Q4 ‘achievable,’ says economist

Sustained economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2023 is attainable with the expected increase in spending this holiday season and the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

At a Saturday news forum, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth could expand by 6.5 percent to 7 percent in the October-December period.

'Itong fourth quarter may economic growth driver din tayo, 'yong BSKE, may spending (This October, we had an economic driver, the BSKE where there was spending),' he said.

'Kaya iyong 6-and-a-half to 7 percent, that's achievable considering ngayon normal na at wala na ring restriction, nagre-recover na ang tourism both local and foreign, at maraming services sector tuloy-tuloy ang recovery (This is why the 6.5 percent to 7 percent forecast is achievable, considering that we're back to normal and there are no restrictions anymore, and that tourism and many in the services sector are recovering),' he added.

The Philippine economy posted a 5.9 percent growth in the third quarter of 2023, stronger than the 4.3 percent in the second quarter and is the highest recorded so far among the major emerging economies in Asia.

The government targets to hit 6 percent to 7 percent full-year GDP growth for 2023 but Ricafort said the economy must grow by more than 7 percent in the fourth quarter to achieve the low end of the target.

'This year, (it could be) at least 5-and-a-half to 5.8 percent. Pero within reach pa rin iyong lower end na 6 percent (But the lower end target of 6 percent is still within reach),' he said.

At the same time, Ricafort was optimistic that the country's unemployment rate would decline in the fourth quarter owing to the usual high demand for services when the Christmas season approaches.

'Iyong unemployment rate, puwede pa pong bumaba iyan kasi October, November, December, dadami po iyong mga job opportunities, livelihood opportunities towards the holiday season (The unemployment rate may still decrease because there are many job opportunities in October, November, December towards the holiday season),' he said.

A recent report by the Philippine Statistics Authority said the country's unemployment rate slightly increased to 4.5 percent in September from 4.4 percent in August this year.

'Iyong 4.5 na iyan, puwede iyan bumaba pa papalapit doon sa 4 percent kasi iyong pinakamababa sa unemployment rate, 4.2 percent in November of last year. Iyon na 'yong pinakamababa noong nagsimula iyong pandemya (That 4.5 percent may still decline to 4 percent because the lowest unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in November last year. That's the lowest since the start of the pandemic),' he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Recent News