The future may yet be bright for the Philippines.
Despite the ongoing pandemic and months-long nationwide lockdown, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees rosy economic growth for the Philippines next year.
In an interview with ANC on May 20, ADB senior economist James Villafuerte said the international lender is optimistic about a quick recovery in 2021 for most Asian countries, including the Philippines.
“That's because we expect a very bad economic outcome this year which means that there’s much opportunity for growth next year,” said Villafuerte. “I agree, there’s room for a strong bounce-back for the Philippines next year.”
The Philippine economy has shrunk for the first time in 22 years, 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2020. The recession was triggered by stringent lockdown measures in Luzon and the temporary closure of businesses amid the pandemic.
On May 18, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno made a similar forecast, saying the country is likely to see a 7 or 8 percent economic growth next year, despite the bank’s projected economic contraction of 2 to 3.4 percent this year.
“By next year, we are anticipating a growth of seven to eight percent, and that’s the consensus among international organizatons,” said Diokno in the interview.
Diokno cited the country’s healthy fiscal position, local banks’ buffering, and economic and tax reforms which will help keep the economy afloat in 2021.