Top-level budget planning body to review macroeconomic targets

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A ship carrying containers of Philippine products for foreign markets pulls away from the international container port in Manila in this Sept. 11, 2012 photo.

THE Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) will meet today to review its macroeconomic assumptions for the medium term, with “improvements” expected particularly for merchandise export projections.

The Department of Budget and Management said in an e-mailed media advisory yesterday that the DBCC will meet at 10 a.m. today at the Department of Finance headquarters in Manila.

Asked whether the interagency committee will change economic assumptions for budget purposes, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters last week: “If any it will be higher.”

Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran in the same interview said that export growth will be one of those that will likely be revised upward.

“Export growth should be higher: now double digits,” he said.


Outbound shipment of Philippine goods grew 11.7% as of end-October, versus a 3.0% and 5.9% contraction in the same period in 2016 and 2015, respectively, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

The DBCC in its June 9 meeting set a 5.0% merchandise export growth assumption this year — from 2.0% previously, 7.0% for 2018 from 5.0%, and 9.0% in 2019 from 7.0%. It also retained the 2020-2022 export growth projection at 9.0%.

“It will be announced later… but all are improvements over the previous,” Mr. Beltran said of annual export growth assumptions.

Aside from export growth revisions, the DBCC in its June meeting also adjusted foreign exchange assumptions for 2018 until 2022 to P48-51 versus the greenback, from P45 to P60, while it retained the assumption this year at P48-50 per dollar.

It also expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6.5-7.5% this year, and 7-8% in 2018-2022.

The DBCC has also capped the budget deficit each year at equivalent to 3.0% percent of GDP until 2022.

For merchandise imports, the DBCC sees a 10% growth this year to 2019, and 11% from 2020 to 2022.

Actual GDP clocked 6.7% in the first three quarters while merchandise imports grew 8.3% as of end-October.

Dubai crude oil price projections were at $45-55 per barrel in 2017, $45-60 in 2018 and $50-65 in 2019 to 2022.

The 364-day Treasury Bill rate was assumed at 2.5-4% for 2017-2022. Foreign interest rate assumptions were at 1.0-2.0% in 2017 and 1.5-2.5% from 2018 to 2022. — Elijah J. C. Tubayan