The Philippine economy expanded 7.1 percent in the first three months in office of President Duterte on the back of robust public infrastructure spending and private construction, and growth in agriculture.
An upbeat consumer spending, encouraged by low inflation and low interest rates, also drove the expansion during the July-September period of the gross domestic product (GDP) that made the Philippines the fastest growing economy in the region. GDP is the total value of goods produced and services rendered in a given period.
“We are the fastest growing among major Asian emerging economies that have already released data for the quarter. We are higher than China’s 6.7 percent, Vietnam’s 6.4 percent, Indonesia’s 5.0 percent and Malaysia’s 4.3 percent. India has not yet released their data,” said National Economic and Development Authority Director Reynaldo Cancio.
The first three quarters saw 7% growth, compared to the 5.7% clocked in 2015’s comparable period. Mr. Cancio said the country needs to grow this quarter by at least 3.4% to reach the 6% lower end of the full-year target, and by 6.9% to reach the 7% higher end.
In the same briefing, NEDA Deputy Director General and Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie G. Edillon said the government is “hoping” the business process outsourcing sector will remain another pillar of growth despite the America-first policy of US President-elect Donald J. Trump.
“I think we should congratulate the administration because it’s (GDP growth) devoid of election spending in the third quarter. I think it’s sustainable because it’s a big thing to surpass a GDP that has an election spending,” Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., honorary chairman of the Philippine Chamber for Commerce and Industry, said in a telephone interview.
“We are hopeful that the trajectory of our country’s growth will remain high in the face of the challenges ahead of us. The government and the private sector have to take every opportunity that this growth brings to improve the lives of our countrymen, especially to eliminate poverty and create quality jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. We have to empower more Filipinos, especially the marginalized groups, to participate in and benefit from the development process. This will result in genuine inclusive growth for our nation. “said Director Cancio.
Excerpts taken from: