Sci-tech

Philippine GDP slowed to 6.4 %

Philippine GDP slowed to 6.4 %

Government spending was 4 percent higher in the first quarter from the previous year, while remittances, a key driver of economic growth, hit a record of $2.62 billion in March.

"Our first-quarter performance bodes well for the economy, as it is broadly in line with our 6.5-percent to 7.5-percent growth target for the year", National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters in a news briefing on Thursday.

The first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was slower than the 6.6-percent expansion during the fourth quarter of past year. The rate for the first quarter of 2016, an election year, had been 6.9%.

"The growth-inflation dynamics still suggest that policy tightening remains in the offing", Gundy Cahyadi, economist at DBS in Singapore said. To see a preview of GDP data, click on The latest growth number matches the 6.4 percent pace in the third quarter of 2015.

"It is, however, below than desiredly expected, and for this, we are somehow downcast because we were expecting something like around midpoint of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent", Pernia added.

PSA data also showed that manufacturing buoyed the Industry sector by posting a year-on-year hike of 7.5 percent.

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The Philippines was second only to China's 6.9 percent growth, Pernia noted.

Services-accounting for about half of GDP-rose 6.8% from a year earlier, while the industrial sector expanded 6.1%.

From the demand side, main contributors of GDP growth in the first quarter were household consumption as well as investments in durable equipment and construction.

Double-digit increases in the imports of iron and steel, machinery and equipment, also suggested the economy ended the first quarter on a solid footing.

"The domestic economy is poised to maintain its growth momentum with the recovery of external trade and the private sector's steadfast optimism", Pernia said.


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