MANILA. Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine economy is forecast to grow 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2020 to 2022, Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Wednesday.
"We see a stable economic performance for 2019, even as we remain vigilant and prepared to face risks such as the possible water shortages in 2020, weak global growth and stagnating world trade, disruptive technologies, and the volatility of oil prices," Pernia said.
Pernia expressed optimism that the Philippines will continue its growth in the coming years. "Our gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to be between 6.0 to 6.5 percent for 2019 and 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2020 to 2022," he said.
He said the Philippines stayed as one of the best-performing economies in Asia posting a 6.2 percent growth in the third quarter.
In the first three quarters of 2019, he said the Philippines recorded a 5.8-percent growth rate, which is just slightly below the lower-end of the 6.0-6.5 percent full-year growth rate for 2019.
"This is backed by the robust growth in public spending, buoyant consumption spending amid the easing of inflation," Pernia said.
More importantly, he said "growth has been more inclusive, as we were able to lift more Filipinos out of poverty in 2018 when population poverty incidence dropped to 16.6 percent of the population from 23.3 percent in 2015."
He noted that the number of poor Filipinos -- or the magnitude of poverty -- went down from 23.5 million in 2015 to 17.6 million in 2018. "This means that we have lifted 5.9 million Filipinos from poverty between 2015 and 2018," he said.
Moreover, Pernia said that prices, which are a major concern of ordinary Filipinos, have remained stable. Year-to-date headline inflation for 2019 stands at 2.5 percent, mainly driven by lower prices of food, relative to the 2018 level, he added.
In the case of non-food items, he said the decline in global oil prices resulted in price rollbacks for domestic petroleum products.
In terms of employment, Pernia said the country's labor market remains strong with more and better quality jobs being created in the past three years.
In terms of trade and investments, he said the Philippines is currently pushing for the amendments of Philippine laws and bills that will support the expansion of foreign direct investment and trade opportunities in the Philippines.