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RP to exceed 2010 GDP goal - NEDA

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the economy is likely to grow ahead of the government's target this year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga told reporters that the economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), "may actually even go beyond the upper level of the target."

GDP is a yardstick for the total value of final goods and services produced in a country at a given time.

The government targets a GDP growth of between 5 percent and 6 percent this year.

In the third quarter, Paderanga said GDP is likely to be lower than the 7.9 percent growth in the second quarter.

"We were afraid that it could be weaker, we hope not much. We don't have the twin engines. The first one is election spending and the global economy was really quite benign in the first quarter of the year," Paderanga said, adding that people's optimism in the third quarter is not as much as in the start of the year.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) earlier reported that economic growth from July to September would likely slow down based on the composite leading economic index (LEI).

The NSCB said LEI recorded a negative 0.0371 from July to September compared to a revised negative 0.0902 in the second quarter.

The LEI serves as a basis for short-term forecasting of macroeconomic activity as it incorporates the behavior of indicators that consistently move upward or downward before the actual expansion or contraction of the economy.

In the first six months, GDP expanded by 7.9 percent compared with the 0.9 percent in the same period last year.

This was the highest semestral growth since 1998 when GDP grew 9.3 percent.

Paderanga, however, said achieving GDP growth next year is a "little bit harder."`

For 2011 to 2016, the government expects the economy to grow between 7 percent and 8 percent. (PNA)




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