Friday, 28 May 2010

Philippine economy grows 7.3% in Q1, highest in 30 years

MANILA (PNA) -- The Philippine economy grew at a faster pace for almost three decades in the first quarter due to election-related spending and strong manufacturing industry, the government reported Thursday.

The National Statistical Coordination Board said the economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.3 percent in the first quarter from 0.5 percent in the same period last year.

"The improvement in the global economy, brighter economic outlook, increased business and consumer confidence, and election-related spending all contributed to the resurgence in economic activities. These more than offset the adverse impacts of El Nino in the production of the agriculture sector, particularly the crops and fishery subsectors," Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto B. Santos said.

Santos added that the growth was driven by industry, fueled by the recovery in manufacturing.

In particular, products of petroleum and coal, food manufactures, and electrical machinery were the major contributors to the growth of the sector.

Services also improved with trade, private services, and finance, posting higher growth.

Santos said that the economic growth in the first quarter of 2010 translated to an increase in employment of 1.73 million.

Employment creation was seen more on services, followed by industry. The continued strong inflows of remittances and the increase in employment particularly in services both fueled consumption.

Overseas Filipino remittances also increased by 7 percent to reach US$ 4.3 billion in the first three months of 2010.

With the growth in remittances, Net Factor Income from Abroad increased by 24.9 percent, boosting Gross National Product to grow by 9.5 percent.

He said the Philippines growth, on the other hand, is less spectacular than its neighboring countries.

Singapore recorded a 15.5 percent growth in the first quarter; Thailand, 12 percent, and Malaysia, 10.1 percent.

The 7.3 percent growth of the Philippines was faster than Indonesia’s growth of 5.7 percent. It was also higher than the growth rate of Vietnam at 5.8 percent but slower than the growth rates of Taiwan, 13.3 percent; mainland China, 11.9 percent; Hong Kong, 8.2 percent; and South Korea, 7.8 percent.

Given this preliminary first quarter estimate, Santos said "we expect an upward revision in the full year 2010 GDP growth rate projection of 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent."

The Development Budget Coordination Committee shall meet in the coming weeks to discuss the revisions in these growth assumptions.

Notwithstanding, Santos said the government continues to monitor the downside risks to growth in order to timely implement the appropriate policies that would minimize their adverse impacts.

"First, there is the looming concern over the debt crisis in Greece which may have contagion effects in our financial sector, adversely affect our trade performance, as well as constrict inflows of overseas Filipinos' remittances," Santos said.

In addition, there is a growing possibility of La Niña developing immediately after the El Nino ends in June.

"The tragedies and debilitating experience brought by the strong tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng last year should serve as a stern reminder for the need for disaster risk management," he said.

1 comment:

  1. As a filipino, we should do our part in keeping our economy good by buying filipino products and not those products in the market that are manufactured somewhere else and only distributed here in our country.We should support those products with Buy pinoy seal to help our government in generating jobs. The 93 million filipinos can make a difference