President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday said the government would strive to solve the country’s inflation woes to maintain economic growth in 2023.

The president made the statement after the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday that the full-year gross domestic product of the country for 2022 was 7.6 percent, higher than 2021’s 5.7 percent.

“We are happy to receive the news that our growth rate for the year 2022 exceeded all expectations even by the estimates of the international financing institutions and we are holding at 7.6 percent,” Marcos Jr. said.

“However, for 2023, we still have the problem of inflation which means there is still a problem of certain sectors of society and of the economy, [who] have yet to enjoy the benefits of that growth. And that’s why inflation is something that we are attending to,” he added.

Marcos Jr. said he expected inflation to fall in the second quarter of 2023, citing anticipated price drops of agricultural products.

“So I think that we are headed in the right direction. We still have some interventions that we will have to apply. But nonetheless, we are weathering the shocks on the international economic situation and we are starting to see that the economy is moving in the correct direction,” he said.

The top contributors to the fourth-quarter growth were: wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (8.7 percent), financial and insurance activities (9.8 percent), and manufacturing (4.2 percent). John Ezekiel J. Hirro