• Melo Acuna

Economic recovery signs are encouraging, says NEDA

Signs of recovery seen in Philippine trade

MANILA – The government’s National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) today said the country’s merchandise trade performance manifested signs of recovery in July.

Citing reports from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), NEDA said the country’s total merchandize trade growth remained in negative territory at -9.6 percent in July 2020 against the same period last year.

However, NEDA said this is better than the growth recorded in June and its also the first month with a single-digit negative growth rate since the quarantine period which began in March this year.

On a month-on-month basis, the July figure is 8.2 percent higher than the total trade levels recorded in June. This is, according to NEDA, due to merchandise exports growing at 5.2 percent in July 2020 compared to the previous month. Imports were reported growing month-on-month in July 2020 with its levels at 10.7 percent higher than June 2020. These show prospects for further improvements.

“Month-on-month growth performance showing respectable growth indicates that the economy is steadily making its way out of the economic downturn,” said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric T. Chua.

He underscored the need for the government to sustain the gradual and calibrated opening of the economy while ensuring strict adherence to health and safety protocols to support the recovery and strengthen the economy and more resilient.

He underscored the importance of safe and sufficient modes of public transport to allow workers to safely go back to work and businesses to operate. Planned subsidies for service contracting ought to provide incentives to transport owners and operators to operate despite the reduced passenger load.

Secretary Chua said the government will continue to pursue fundamental structural reforms jointly through its efforts to improve the country’s healthcare system.

He explained reforms out to level the playing field by liberalizing investment regimes to draw in capital and jobs, honing and improving innovative and forward-looking technologies, as well as producing competitive and unique products and services are still in the government’s priority plan.

Logistics reforms will rationalize the freight system, establishment of strategic warehousing and cold chain systems are too important to ignore because it will ensure the mobility of goods and complement efforts to improve production. (Melo M. Acuña)

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric T. Chua. (NEDA website photo)

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