by: Sarah Joson
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 |
According to Shanaka Jayanath Peiris, International Monetary Fund’s Country Representative in the Philippines, the country’s first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9% coincides with their target to achieve a full-year growth of 6%. The recent growth figure is also higher than the 5% GDP growth rate recorded during the same period of last year.
Election-related spending and strong domestic consumption are seen to fuel this growth which is also within the government’s projections of 6.8-7.8% for this year. The bulk of the growth was driven by the service sector at 7.9% and represented 56.8% of the economy. In addition to that, an 8.7% surge was posted by the industrial sector which collectively buoyed the economy, despite the 4.4% slowdown in the agricultural sector. Other key factors that reinforced the growth are the 25.6% surge in investment spending, as well as the 7% increase household consumption during the first three months of the year.
Even with the external risks from the continuous economic slowdown in China, and weakness in oil prices, IMF reported in its April issue of the World Economic Outlook that it is keeping its full-year growth projections for the Philippines, which is 6% for 2016, and 6.2% next year.
The IMF official noted that the rates are adjusted in line with the IMF’s targets. Also, it is expected that the Philippines will pick up the growth pace from the slow 5.8% in 2015, and become one of Asia’s better performers.