Philippine president forecasts "conservative" 5% GDP growth this year

08:38, July 15, 2011      

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday that the economy may grow at a "conservative" 5 percent this year because of the developments in Japan and the Middle East.

Aquino's forecast is lower than the 7 percent to 8 percent GDP growth set by the country's economic managers. But the crisis in the Middle East and the mega earthquake that jolted Japan has limited growth prospects for the Philippines.

"Conservatively, we expect the economy to grow by at least 5 percent this year in spite of everything. We tend to underpromise, " Aquino said in a speech delivered at the 29th biennial national assembly of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC).

The president said the natural disasters that hit Japan in March had caused a lack in local supply of car parts from the country.

Aquino said, "It seems that things are happening and it's happening faster than what we assumed."

"Turning around the economy within two years would have been reasonable, and within the first few months, we had all of these investors coming in," he said.

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