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MANILA - The Philippines lowered its economic growth target for this year, reflecting the impact of a two-week lockdown of the capital region to contain the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, a government inter-agency said on Wednesday.
This year's growth target was cut to 4.0% to 5.0%, from 6.0% to 7.0% expected previously, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said in a statement.
Next year's growth target was kept at 7.0% to 9.0%.
The downgrade was still a significant improvement from last year's record contraction of 9.6%. https://www.reuters.com/article/philippines-economy-gdp-idINL4N2M11V5
"Our strategy is to continue managing the risks carefully by imposing granular quarantines, while allowing a vast number of people to earn a living," the DBCC said.
The Southeast Asian nation, which was among the fastest growing economies in Asia before the pandemic, exited recession in the second quarter https://www.reuters.com/article/philippines-economy-gdp-idUSL1N2PH04H after five consecutive quarters of contraction. [nL1N2PH04H]
But a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the virulent Delta variant, forced authorities to impose a two-week lockdown of the capital region https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/manila-locks-down-philippines-virus-cases-near-four-month-high-2021-08-06/#:~:text=MANILA%2C%20Aug%206%20(Reuters),infections%20for%20almost%20four%20months from Aug. 6., undermining the economy's expected rebound this year. [nL1N2PD0KI]
More than a year and a half into the pandemic, reported coronavirus infections in the Philippines have soared to more than 1.77 million, the second-highest level in Southeast Asia, while deaths have exceeded 30,600.
The Philippines has so far fully immunised around 11% of its 110 million people against COVID-19, leaving millions still vulnerable. REUTERS