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Philippine president upbeat on economic outlook for 2008

Philippine president upbeat on economic outlook for 2008

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Thursday she is upbeat about the outlook for the Philippine economy in 2008 after it surged 7.1 percent in the first three quarters of this year.
"We are filled with hope as the year ends and a new year begins. Our country is stable, strong and peaceful. Our economy is vibrant, the stock market is on a bull run and investments come pouring in," she said in a statement before a Cabinet meeting on economic development.
"In the coming year, we should reap more blessings from our growing economy and national coffer," Arroyo said.
Revenue efforts will be doubled to balance the budget next year, while infrastructure projects will be accelerated, she said. Capital, knowledge, infrastructure and technology will be spread to the countryside to boost growth, she added.
Finance Secretary Margarito Teves called for more aggressive spending on public infrastructure as well as tourism investment and promotion to soften the impact of soaring oil prices and a forecast downturn in the global economy next year.
He said the remittances of Filipinos workers overseas must be channeled to infrastructure projects, which will be an outlet for excess dollars to also help temper the peso's strength.
Between January and October, remittances totaled US$11.87 billion (euro8 billion), up 15 percent from a year ago and on track to meet the central bank's full-year target of US$14 billion (euro9.5 billion).
Economists say the Philippines needs at least 7 percent annual gross domestic product to make progress on cutting poverty.
University of the Philippines economics professor Benjamin Diokno, a former budget secretary, projected that growth would be slower next year, noting that possible recession in the U.S. will affect the Philippine economy.


Updated : 2020-12-04 22:12 GMT+08:00