Improvement in the employment situation is expected to make the country’s second-quarter economic growth “pretty good”, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez declined to give specific figures but said the country’s second quarter economic performance was “pretty good”, citing the drop in unemployment and underemployment last May.
“The fact that we’ve created about two and a half million new jobs over the last year seems to be good signs for us,” he said.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the labor force participation rate last May improved to 64.6 percent from the previous month’s 63.2 percent.
Employment rate increased to 92.3 percent in May from last April’s 91.3 percent, while the underemployment rate declined to 12.3 percent from 17.2 percent.
As a result, unemployment rate went down to 7.7 percent from 8.7 percent due to the continued re-opening of the economy.
The second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report is scheduled to be released on Aug. 10.
In the first quarter, the country’s GDP contracted by 4.2 percent, better than the -8.3 percent drop in the previous quarter.
The country’s economic managers are sticking to the 6 to 7 percent growth forecast for this year 7 to 9 percent in 2022 and 6 to 7 percent in 2023 and 2024.
With the pandemic still expected to linger, Dominguez said it is important to continue to remain “fiscally responsible.”
“We want to make sure that we have enough resources to tackle any problems in the future, such as surges in the pandemic. We also want to make sure that we have enough money to protect our citizens and that is providing them with enough vaccines,” he said.
Dominguez said the government’s $3-trillion borrowing program for this year would remain to be primarily sourced domestically at around 75 percent.
The balance would be tapped overseas “depending on the situation in the market”, he said.
“We’re keeping ourselves open to financing from domestic or international sources. And essentially it’s going to be the same amount,” he added.
To date, the government has issued around P150 billion ($3 billion) worth of dual tranche, 10.5-year and 25-year US dollar-denominated bond; EUR2.1-billion multi-tranche, 4-year, 12-year, and 20-year global bonds; and JPY55 billion three-year zero-coupon fixed-rate yen-denominated Samurai bond. via (PNA)