Philippines: Economy likely grew at least 7% in Q4 – BSP

MANILA, Philippines — The economy likely expanded by more than seven percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) likely grew by 7.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“Fourth quarter growth will be above seven percent. It could be between seven and 7.6 percent,” Diokno said in a virtual forum hosted by the Tuesday Club.

The economy expanded by an average of 4.88 percent in the third quarter of 2021, and the government hopes it would grow by five to 5.5 percent by end-2021.

For this year, the government economic team expects the economy to expand by seven to nine percent on the assumption that herd immunity will be achieved and face-to-face schooling will resume.

Diokno said the general elections may provide just half of the one-percentage-point boost normally given to the economy as the mobility restrictions may hinder candidates from splurging on mass gatherings and town sorties.

“I have studied the impact of elections on GDP. Every time we have elections, we have an extra bump of one percentage point,” Diokno said.

“I don’t know about this election, on how restricted the campaigns would be, but there will still be a bump. Maybe the one percentage point will become just 0.5 percentage point,” he said.

National and local candidates for the 2022 polls may begin their official campaigns on Feb. 8 and March 25, respectively. The campaign period ends on May 7, two days before the elections.