MANILA — As port congestion eases after the lifting of the truck ban in Manila, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) expressed confidence to hit the growth goal for this year.
In an interview with reporters, Neda director-general and Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said that the government expects that the growth domestic product (GDP) will reach the 6.5 to 7.5 percent target range for 2014.
“We have grown far above 7 percent in many quarters in the past, so it’s possible to reach the GDP target this time,” Balisacan said referring to the 7.2 percent growth of the Philippine economy in 2013.
He also forecasted a 6.9 to 7.8 percent expansion of the economy towards the second half to achieve the lower end of the 2014 goal.
From the 7.8 percent GDP growth recorded in the first semester, a slowdown to 6 percent was recorded in the first half of this year.
The slowdown was attributed mainly to the daytime truck ban in the city of Manila starting February which affected trade.
The truck ban, which had caused delays in the entry of raw materials imported by the country and has slowed down the delivery of the products for export, created a negative effect peaking in June and July.
But with the lifting of the truck ban in mid-September, the government is hoping that the export and import figures “will be much better,” according to Balisacan.