Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on Friday said the country’s inflation rate may have already “peaked” in December at 8.1 percent and added that he is optimistic that average inflation this year would be within the government’s target band.
“I think it has peaked. And we look forward to an inflation of about 4.5 percent this year and going back to where we were originally 2 percent to 4 percent, midpoint 3 percent, by 2024,” Diokno told the Makati Business Club in a forum organized by the business group on Friday.
The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) has set an inflation target of 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent this year.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier projected that inflation in January would settle between 7.5 percent and 8.3 percent. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/02/01/bsp-january-inflation-could-still-breach-8/)
Furthermore, Diokno pointed out that things are looking brighter for the Philippines following the strong full-year economic performance last year, which was at 7.6 percent.
Diokno said he is “optimistic” this year that the Philippines would be able to meet its target of growing between 6 percent to 7 percent.
For one, Diokno said the national government is keen on improving the agriculture sector, which he noted has remained a “laggard” for decades already.
Diokno added that mining is expected to contribute more to the country’s economy following the lifting of the nearly decade-old ban on new mining projects.
“I am very optimistic because of our young population in an aging world. That is an asset. [We] just have to make sure that they are well educated, they get good healthcare,” he said.
Diokno also said the national government is banking on a “strong” private sector support to uplift further the country’s economy.