Philippine Third Quarter GDP Growth Of More Than Seven Percent Unexpected

The third quarter economic growth with gross national product (GDP) of 7.1 percent has surprised even those in government, a Palace official noted, saying that historically this period ‘is always the slowest’ in terms of output.

The country’s output, measured by GDP, topped ASEAN neighbors that include Indonesia’s 6.2 percent, Malaysia’s 5.2 percent, Vietnam’s 4.7 percent, Thailand’s 3.0 percent, and Singapore’s 0.3 percent, while China posted a 7.7 percent GDP growth for the period, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general Arsenio Balisacan said.

“The beyond-expectation third quarter growth was driven by the services sector with the robust performances of transport, storage and communication, financial intermediation, and real estate, renting and business activities supported by the five consecutive quarters of sustained accelerated growth of the industry and the seemingly weather-tolerant agriculture sector,” the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said.

The country’s industrial production, which measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines and utilities, rose 8.1 percent in September compared to that in the same month last year, up from 4.5 percent in August according to the data released by the National Statistics Office.

Agriculture grew by 4.1 percent while services went up by 7 percent. By expenditure share, government spending recorded the fastest pace at 12 percent, while household consumption and capital formation grew by 6.2 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, NSCB data showed. Exports of goods and services went up by 6.9 percent.

The strong economic performance of the Philippines since the first quarter of the year has been recognized by three major credit ratings agencies, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

Administration Senator Franklin Drilon has attributed high third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.1 percent to the confidence that President Benigno Aquino III enjoys from the private sector.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said growth should be sustained up to next year.

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