After four quarters of lackluster performance, the Philippine Economy is off to a rousing start in the year of the water dragon as GDP grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to an upwardly revised growth of 4.9 percent last year. The above expectations growth benefitted from a regime of benign inflation and drew from the revitalized Services sector, particularly from Trade and Other Services. It also got a big boost from manufacturing which has recovered some grounds that got eroded during the third and fourth quarters last year.
On the demand side, the growth came mainly from net exports and the robust Households spending.
With compensation of our overseas workers on the rebound, the Net Primary Income (NPI) grew by 4.0 percent pushing the GNI/GNP growth to 5.8 percent from 3.5 percent in 2011.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, GDP gained momentum growing by 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012 while GNI grew by a slower pace of 1.3 percent. With the growth of Poultry, Livestock, Corn, and Coconut including copra, the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishery sector posted a turnaround growth of 2.5 percent in the first quarter from two consecutive quarters of decline. However, Industry slowed down to 2.2 percent growth from 3.3 percent in the previous quarter. But the Services sector accelerated to 2.6 percent from 1.3 percent in the previous quarter as all its subsectors recorded positive growth.
With projected population reaching 95.2 million, per capita GDP grew by 4.6 percent while Per capita GNI grew by 4.0 percent and per capita HFCE grew by 4.9 percent. Per capita HFCE has been growing robustly since the fourth quarter of 2010.
ROMULO A. VIROLA