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March 3, 2009

Philippine budget deficit seen at 1.5% of GDP in 2010

The Philippines expects its budget deficit to narrow to 132.1 billion pesos ($2.69 billion), or 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, next year from 2.2 percent this year, Reuters quoted the finance department as saying Monday.

The Southeast Asian economy was also expected to grow 4.9 to 5.8 percent in 2010, faster than a forecast of 3.7 to 4.4 percent for this year, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran told a congressional hearing on tax reforms.

Growth next year would be boosted by a recovery in trade. The Philippines expects exports to rebound to 8 to 9 percent growth after an expected contraction of 6 to 8 percent this year, Beltran said.

Imports were likely to expand 12 to 14 percent next year after an estimated 8 to 10 percent fall this year, he said.

The numbers represent initial forecasts which are reviewed periodically by an inter-agency committee that sets macroeconomic targets and are composed of the country's economic managers.




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