Philippine economy grew 6.9% in third quarter, likely 2nd fastest in Asia
The Philippine economy grew by 6.9 percent in the third quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Thursday.
In a press conference, National Statistician Lisa Bersales said this is higher than ?the revised ?6.7 percent in the second quarter but lower than 7.1 percent during the same period last year.
She said manufacturing; trade and real estate, renting and business activities were the main drivers of growth for the quarter.
Indu??stry recorded the fastest growth of 7.5 percent, up from 7.4 percent in the second quarter but down from 8.8 percent during the same period last year.
Services grew 7.1 percent from 6.3 percent in the second quarter and 6.8 percent in the same period last year.. Agriculture slowed down by 2.5 percent from 6.3 percent in the previous quarter and 3 percent during the same period last year.?
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia said third quarter growth surpassed market expectations. It is likely to rank second fastest growing economy in Asia following Vietnam at 7.5 percent, he added.
He said the Philippine economy is on its track in meeting its economic growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for this year.
"With a year-to-date growth average at 6.7 percent, we are optimistic that we are on track in meeting the full-year target range of 6.5 to 7.5 percent GDP growth for 2017," he said.
"The Philippines’ growth surpassed market expectations, given the 6.6 percent consensus median estimate. It is faster than the upwardly revised 6.7 percent growth in the preceding quarter and slightly slower than the 7.1 percent growth in the same period in 2016," Pernia said.
"The Philippines remains one of the best performing economies in Asia with an impressive growth of 6.9 percent in the third quarter of the year. We are likely to rank second in Asia this quarter, next to Vietnam's 7.5 percent and ahead of China's 6.8 percent and Indonesia's 5.1 percent," Pernia said.
Pernia said weather and poor production of corn and fish affected agricultural growth.
?"Agriculture is quite strong in the second quarter but dipped to 2.5 percent in the 3rd quarter. There were some weather disturbances that occurred and it was mostly also accounted for by ?poor corn production, not agriculture sector as whole but the corn item. Fishing and corn was the one were the ones that went down," he said.
Pernia said strong exports helped raise third quarter growth. "We attribute the country's growth performance to sustained strong growth in exports and improvements in public spending, which then boosted the manufacturing subsector and the services sector," he said..
On the demand side, Pernia said sustained recovery in public spending "pushed growth".
He said public consumption was up 8.3 percent on account of higher spending on personnel services with the raise in the base pay of civilian government employees and allowances of the military and uniformed personnel, as well as the filling-up and creation of positions at the Department of Education.
Government spending showed a sustained improvement due to the administration's Build, Build, Build program, Pernia said, adding this is expected to ramp up public spending even further.
"We see construction activities and public spending making a headway in line with the government’s aim to spend 5.3 percent of GDP this year for infrastructure and up to 7.4 percent by 2022," he said.
Consumer spending eased to 4.5 percent in the third quarter but Pernia said they expect a pick-up in household consumption in the last quarter due to the holiday season. Ella Dionisio/DMS