BSP chief sees strong recovery in second quarter GDP


MANILA – The Philippines’ central bank will keep its accommodative monetary policy plans for as long as needed to ensure a strong and sustainable economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, its governor said on Monday.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno also said he expects a “strong recovery” in the second quarter after a contraction in the first quarter. Policymakers will meet on Thursday to decide on key interest rates, while second-quarter economic data will be released on Tuesday.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 3.9% in the first quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Monday, revising the figure from an initial 4.2% contraction.

In July, Philippine economic managers said GDP growth this year will likely be between 6.0% to 7.0%, but a two-week lockdown of the capital region to contain the more infectious Delta coronavirus variant could undermine the outlook.

“Looking ahead, we see a strong growth of around 7.7% in 2022 and 6.5% in 2023,” Mr. Diokno told ANC news channel.

GDP fell by a record 9.6% in 2020, owing to tight and lengthy coronavirus lockdowns that stifled consumer spending and business activities. — Reuters

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