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2022 polls to impact economic recovery

AN ECONOMIST has projected that the May 2022 national polls will boost the return of the economy to pre-pandemic growth levels.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said inflation and interest rates are also expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels next year.

“Economic recovery could accelerate shortly before or during the 2022 election year (as early as the latter part of 2021 or about a year from now),” he said. Last year, gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 9.5 percent due mainly to the impact of the pandemic.

This is a far cry from the 6-percent growth the domestic economy has been posting for several years now.

Ricafort said he expects government spending, especially on infrastructure, to increase a few months before the national polls so as not to violate the election spending ban.

He said some incumbent officials rush to complete various government projects before the election ban.

“Consumer spending could increase during the campaign period shortly before the May 2022 presidential elections as candidates accelerate spending (especially starting February 2022),” he added.

Economic managers have set this year’s domestic growth at 6 percent to 7 percent, while for 2022, the GDP target was set at 7 percent to 9 percent. PNA