World Bank cuts PH growth projection

THE World Bank has revised downward its Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimate for this year as it said the containment of coronavirus remains a challenge for the country.

In a report released on Friday, the Washington-based multilateral lender said it now estimates the economy growing by only 5.5 percent, weaker than its earlier forecast of 5.9-percent.

The adjusted outlook falls outside the government’s official projection range of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, but a reversal of the economy’s 9.5-percent contraction last year.

The World Bank said the economic impact of the virus would continue to affect the livelihoods of Filipinos.

“In the Philippines, where containing the virus remains a challenge, households in the richest quintile are less likely to report earnings declines and those who do, report lower losses than their poorer counterparts,” it stressed.

The multilateral institutions added the welfare effects of income and employment losses in terms of depletion of physical and human capital are also more dire among the poor.

“For example, when faced with income losses, poorer households are more likely to reduce their food consumption, accumulate debt, and sell assets, all of which may undermine their ability to recover from the crisis,” it also underscored.