March 22, 2018, 8:06 am
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SAYS PERNIA: A 7.5% GDP is a ‘miracle’

Ernesto Pernia, socioeconomic planning secretary, said  it would now be difficult to achieve the higher end of the government’s full-year target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, adding  he would be happy to just hit close to mid-range of the goal.

Pernia said the growth of the economy for 2017 will definitely be within the government’s target.

“We’ll be within the range for sure. (For the middle of the range), it might be difficult because it will require something like 7.5 percent (for the second semester), even higher,” Pernia said.

“If we hit close to the mid-range we’ll be happy with that, higher or lower than the mid-range,” he added.

In the first half of the year, the economy grew by 6.5 percent. This means  the economy will have to expand, also by 6.5 percent in the second semester, to meet the lower-end of the government’s goal.

“It will take a miracle to reach the 7.5 percent (higher-end growth target) at this point,” Pernia said.

For the third quarter, the NEDA chief said  he is hoping that the economy will perform better compared to the growths posted in the first and second quarter.

“The external economy is is a good prospect for our exports,” Pernia said.

He added spending on infrastructure is going to escalate over the next three months, especially in 2018, which would help drive growth.
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