Inflation, A Bigger Threat To The Economy Next Year Than COVID – BSP
According to Benjamin Diokno, the head of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, inflation will be a bigger threat to the Philippine economy next year than Covid-19.
Diokno believes that the economy of the country would recover to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022 or perhaps sooner.
Price increases will be a burden for the Philippines, as they are for many other nations as they emerge from the pandemic, even as he anticipates the economy recovering in the months ahead.
Diokno said in an exclusive interview with Asia Business Report:
Right now inflation is elevated because of food prices. And that’s a result of recent weather disturbances. Also partly because of the international price of crude oil, which of course has affected the whole world.
He thinks that the country will be over the pandemic by the first quarter of next year, given our ramp-up in the vaccination program. He further added that the impact of the Covid-19 is on the youth because they lost one full year of studies. Since the Philippines has a very young population, its median age is 25. So the next government should continue to focus on investment in human capital.
Looking ahead to next year’s presidential election, Diokno stated that inflation and unemployment, particularly among the youth, will be “the most critical issue at that moment” for the Philippines economy.
If Diokno’s projections about economic recovery are right, it will be a significant improvement over the Philippines’ status during the Covid crisis
According to recent data, about 70 million doses of Covid vaccination had been given out in the country which is enough to fully vaccinate almost a third of the Philippines’ population.
The country is forward with its vaccination program and is planning to start voluntary booster shots for healthcare workers.