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Philippines cuts 2016 exports, import growth target

[MANILA] The Philippines on Monday lowered its 2016 export growth target to 5 per cent from 6 per cent, but it still expects the domestic economy can expand close to 7-8 per cent this year.

The government also cut its import growth target this year, to 10 per cent from 12 per cent, said Francisco Dakila Jr, a managing director at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank.

Rosemarie Edillon, assistant director-general at the National Economic and Development Authority, told reporters the government expects average annual GDP growth of 7-8 per cent through 2019.

The government is looking at a 3.35 trillion pesos (US$70.6 billion) budget for 2017, about 12 per cent higher than this year's record high budget.

Manila also set its foreign exchange rate outlook at 45-48 pesos to the dollar for 2016 through 2019. On Monday, the peso closed stronger at 47.45 to the dollar.