Economy growth at 6.5% in 2nd quarter, highest in Asia next to China



The country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) picked up at 6.5 percent in the second quarter of the year as agriculture and business sectors recovered, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Thursday.

The economic growth in the quarter, however, was lower than 7.1% percent recorded in the same period of 2016, when the presidential election was held.

Meanwhile, growth in the first half averaged 6.45 percent, also slower that 6.95 percent listed a year ago. And is still considered “realistic “, according to Economic Planning Secretary Ernest Pernia in a news briefing, adding that the Philippines continued to be one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

Furthermore, the country’s high GDP on the second quarter was faster than Vietnam’s 6.2 percent and Indonesia’s 5 percent and second to China whose growth rate is at 6.9 percent in the second quarter.

Pernia also said that he expected the country's economy to be resilient of risks, such as the Marawi crisis in Mindanao, the recent bird flu outbreak in Central Luzon, and even the weakening peso value.

“The peso is not a concern … as long as we are able to manage the fluctuation and minimize wild movements, I think we should be okay,” he said.

According Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinos Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. the second quarter data with its robust growth only shows that economy is going strong as BSP expected. 

While Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that this 6.5 percent expansion was a solid proof that the government's "unparalleled" investment strategy attached to the Build, Build, Build program had started to kick up and was on track to steer the country's economy higher.

“With the upturn in state spending beginning in the year’s second quarter, President Duterte’s unparalleled investment strategy anchored on the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program has started to pick up steam,” Dominguez said.

Source: The Manila Standard 

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