By Eileen Mencias
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s economic managers expect the local economy to expand at a slower pace than earlier predicted as the country grapples with inflation, bloated debt levels and heighted global uncertainty.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said gross domestic product is seen growing by 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year, slightly lower than the 7 to 8 percent projected by the previous administration.
Marcos’ economic team raised its inflation forecast from 3.7 to 4.7 percent to 4.5-5.5 percent amid the continued surge in gasoline prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and disruptions in the supply chain.
It sees the peso trading between P51 to P53 versus the US dollar even as the peso slumped to a 17-year low of P56 to the dollar this week.
The economic team, however, raised its imports growth assumption for the year to 18 percent from 15 percent after taking into account the rising import bill.