Neda expects modest GDP growth for 2011

MANILA—The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to be more modest this year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga said the country’s economic growth is due mainly to the absence of election spending and recovery of the global economy.

Paderanga said that Neda projects a conservative 5 percent GDP growth this year.

But he said that with the right policies and continued consumer confidence, Neda is hopeful that the real GDP growth target of 7 to 8 percent and a real gross national product (GNP) growth target of 9 to 10 percent would still be achievable.

GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in the country, while GNP is the total market value of goods and services produced by all citizens and capital during a given period, usually within a year.

The Neda chief said sectors that will continue to support the economy for this year are agriculture, industry, and private and public spending.

He said the agriculture sector may recover this year as the impact of the government’s modernization plan kicks off.

In the industry sector, all sub-sectors—which include mining, construction, housing, biofuels, and the Halal food market—will post full recovery.

Meanwhile, services will continually improve, driven by trade, private services, and finance.

Paderanga said that on the demand side, private consumption will remain an important contributor to growth as remittances will still play a key role for increased spending.

“Investments will continue to post strong expansion on account of construction, agro-industry, business process outsourcing or BPO, electronics and semiconductors, and tourism,” Paderanga said.

Paderanga added that Neda is currently drafting the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for 2011 to 2016 in line with the goals of President Benigno Aquino’s “Social Contract with the Filipino People.”

“The social contract is geared towards achieving national development, having inclusive growth or growth that is shared by all, creating more jobs to empower the people and providing them with opportunities to rise above poverty,” he said.

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