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Mar 23, 2017

Economist Says Numbers of Budget Do Not Tell Whole Story

Ervin Perez

The 2017 budget is being debated in the House of Representatives where parliamentarians are both criticizing and defending the fiscal plan.  But what are the economists thinking?  While there have been expert opinions shared with the media, economist Ervin Perez, who has been a prominent voice in the recent Super Bond discussion, has offered his two cents on the proposed economic recovery.  According to Perez, there’s quite some confusion as it regards government’s study of goods and services.

 

Isani Cayetano

“There is a particular perspective that has been shared with the media, in respect of the attempt to grow by three point some odd percent given the fact that over the past several years government has been operating in the red.  As an economist, what are your views on this so-called turnaround?”

 

Ervin Perez, Legacy Fund

“Well I’ll be very honest.  I have been a bit confused about the economics that we see.  Whenever, economists like to say, we like to use little heuristics to see where the market is going.  So usually in a recession what you would see is very little construction.  When you look around in our economies there seems to be a lot of construction taking place.  The other thing is, usually you also look in restaurants.  You go to restaurants to eat and you see that in a recession restaurants are usually empty and bare, everybody was cutting back.  If you guys go out on Thursdays and Friday, it’s crowded and everybody is eating.  So the question is, do we have an economy that is Jekyll and Hyde, you know.  Is there something happening that the SIB data is missing, that we’re missing.  From our economy we think that the informal economy has become huge.  And what does that mean?  The economy that is not recorded is large and so it’s impacting what you really see.  That does not mean that certain industries, the commodities industries, are not struggling.  So you know, the shrimp, the citrus, the bananas.  We are having challenges there and we have to work with those industries.  But it says that perhaps we have a very, we have an economy that’s not really integrated and some sectors of the economy, like the tourism and service sectors might be growing leaps and bounds and other traditional areas are suffering.  So it’s quite a mix.  Something has to be done in terms of the numbers so that we can see what’s really happening in the economy, I think.”

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