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Philippines revises 2008 GDP forecast down to 4.4-4.9%

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October 2, 2008

Philippines revises 2008 GDP forecast down to 4.4-4.9%

The Philippines has revised its 2008 economic growth forecast to a range of 4.4 percent to 4.9 percent because of the global credit crisis, official said, bringing its expectations into line with financial markets, reported Reuters.

 It had previously forecast 2008 growth in a range of 5.5 percent to 6.4 percent.

Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said in a statement on Tuesday night that 2009 growth would be between 4.1 percent and 5.1 percent, down from a previous 6.1 percent to 7.1 percent.

Recto said he expected the U.S. Congress to pass a bailout plan to help revive financial markets, although that would not prevent the U.S. economy from going into a recession.

"The Philippines, along with the rest of the world, will not be spared," he said.

"We are confident that our country will weather the storm. We have to downscale though our growth targets for 2008 and 2009."

Other officials said Recto's estimates were "medium-case scenarios".

Under a worst case scenario, GDP growth could slide to 3.8 percent to 4.3 percent in 2008 and to 3 percent to 4 percent in 2009, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said.

He told Reuters on Wednesday that the 2008 budget deficit could balloon to 100 billion pesos ($2.12 billion) under a worst case scenario, from the current estimate of 75 billion pesos.

For 2009, the deficit was estimated to reach 60 billion pesos or 90 billion pesos in a worst-case scenario, Beltran said.

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