Business

Think tank says PH economy ‘under repair’ albeit wobbly

The Philippine economy is likely to grow by 10 percent year-on-year in the second quarter from a very low base last year, but production is likely to decline compared to the first quarter with the reintroduction of tighter quarantine protocols.

This is according to the New York-based think tank Global Source, which expected year-on-year growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4 percent compared to a 9.5 percent contraction in 2020, which was the worst recession seen since the government began reporting data on economic production in 1947.

Nevertheless, in a research note written by economist Romeo Bernardo on July 2, entitled “Carefully climb the ladder and take care of snakes,” Global Source said the Philippines now “appears to be okay.”

The Department of Health had announced that the country could now be considered “low risk” after declines in active COVID-19 cases and hospital occupancy at the national level. Vaccines have also begun to arrive in bulk, and vaccination has risen significantly to over 220,000 jabs a day, Bernardo noted.

At the same time, more people have returned to work in May after the severe shutdown in April, while factory activity has improved and mobility has risen above pre-lockout levels, as indicated by increased traffic congestion, the research note said.

“We see these gains on the modest side and not enough to put a more hopeful perspective on. Although there seems to be more control now over the health crisis, the daily cases have been at two to three times the starting levels of the year, and in some regions infections are rising sharply, ”said Bernardo.

Also, increasing COVID-19 cases in neighboring economies coupled with low vaccine coverage and far too little work on genome sequencing to detect variants means that solution constraints can only be performed in infant stages. The latter, in turn, implies that business recovery will also be temporary, ”he said.

The government is ready to release GDP data for the second quarter on 10 August.

This evolved as more and more companies rolled out their COVID-19 vaccination programs.

“We have always prioritized the safety and well-being of our employees. We believe that vaccination is a very big step towards a better and safer new norm for our employees and our customers, ”said Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman and Founder of Jollibee Group.

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