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MANILA: The Philippines lowered its growth target for 2023 to 6.0%-7.0%, from 6.5%-8.0%, a government inter-agency panel said on Monday, factoring in the impact of a weak peso and high inflation.

The government also revised its foreign exchange rate assumptions for 2022-2024.

It now expects the peso to trade against the US dollar at 54-55 in 2022 compared with the previous assumption of 51-53, at 55-59 in 2023, and at 53-57 in 2024, compared with the previous forecast of 51-55 for 2023 onwards.

The growth target for 2024-2028 was maintained at 6.5%-8.0%, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) told a media briefing.

The peso has recovered slightly against the dollar after declining to a record low of 59 in recent weeks, thanks to a series of interest rate hikes by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilpinas (BSP) to match US Federal Reserve’s aggressive tightening.

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It was trading at 55.73-55.88 on Monday.

Officials said the economy was on track to meet this year’s growth goal of 6.5%-7.5%, which is faster than the 5.6% expansion in 2021, after the government removed nearly all COVID-19 restrictions and allowed more business activities to resume.

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