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7.2% growth in 2013

Philippine Economy 2nd To China’s 7.7 GDP

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine economy posted a 7.2 percent growth in 2013, one of the best performing economies in Asia, second only to China which grew by 7.7 percent, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said yesterday.

“This is a remarkable turnout as the economy grew better than our expected target of 6 to 7 percent in 2013 despite the challenges we faced during the year, particularly the disasters that struck Central and Southern Philippines in the fourth quarter,” Balisacan said.31_gdp

“The growth could have been better had we not been perturbed by various disasters that hit the country such as the Bohol earthquake, the Zamboanga siege, and super-typhoon Yolanda,” said Balisacan.

Despite the typhoon that hit the Visayas in November last year, the economy grew by 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, he added.

The services and industry sectors continued to be the drivers of economic growth in 2013. The services sector contributed 3.6 points of the real GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, followed by the industry sector with 2.8 points and agriculture with 0.1 point.

The fourth-quarter growth on the supply side was mainly propelled by manufacturing, trade, finance, and real estate.

Balisacan said the 6.5 percent expansion of the services sector was driven largely by the strong demand for communications, land and air transportation, and storage and services incidental to transport.

“Increased air traffic in the fourth quarter of 2013 was due to the additional flights and destinations of the country’s leading airlines and number of passengers and cargo for tourism and relief operations after super-typhoon Yolanda.”

Balisacan said the financial sector also came in strong in the fourth quarter with a growth of 9.9 percent.

“A stable business environment, a manageable inflation rate of 3.7 percent – leaning towards the low end of the target range – and low interest rates, as well as aid from other countries for those affected by typhoon Yolanda, have induced an increase in financial activity,” he said.

The 5.4 percent growth in other services was mainly driven by education and services, health and social work, and community services. The tourism sector’s gross value added reached P748.3 billion, 15 percent higher than in 2012.

In the industry sector, manufacturing served as the frontrunner, posting double-digit growth of 12.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

On the demand side, growth was driven by household consumption, which contributed 4.2 percentage points, and net exports, which contributed 1.6 points.

The export sector continued to post a positive growth in the fourth quarter at 6.4 percent, lower than the 8.6 percent in the previous year.

Merchandise exports increased by 6.2 percent mainly due to the strengthening of the global manufacturing sector in line with the recovery of the world economy.

Prospects In 2014

Secretary Balisacan said he is optimistic that the Philippine economy will remain strong and robust in 2014. “It will take some time for establishments in typhoon-affected areas to recover assets and regain momentum and this is expected to affect the growth in the first quarter of 2014,” said Balisacan.

He noted that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have higher growth expectations for the global economy. The IMF sees global activity growing by 3.7 percent in 2014 and 3.9 percent in 2015, while the World Bank projects global economic growth at 3.2 percent in 2014 and 3.4 percent in 2015. The Asian Development Bank sees the region growing at 6.2 percent in 2014.

“We believe the Philippine economy particularly the industry sector is in a very good position to take advantage of wider export markets as the government continues to implement reforms to reduce the cost of doing business in the country,” said Balisacan.

He expects agriculture and industry sectors to be vibrant this year as the government promotes linkages between the two sectors to increase value added as a key strategy identified in the Philippine Development Plan midterm update.

The construction of major infrastructure projects, particularly in the transport sector, is expected to add fuel to the growth this year and beyond.

Economy’s Resilience Cited

Malacañang hailed the country’s “impressive” 7.2 percent economic surge in 2013 despite facing a string of calamities. “A year of challenges did not deter us from impressive growth,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

He cited the “resilience of an economy that defied expectations, and the resilience of thousands of Filipinos, including the survivors themselves, who came together in the wake of calamities, as well as our people’s characteristic dynamism.”

“It is precisely because of these that we are confident that our countrymen will not only sustain, but accelerate the reform agenda that has led to these successes. We will not only revive and bolster the communities affected by calamities, but together, we will hasten our task of achieving lasting, inclusive growth that leaves no one behind,” he added.

At the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the benchmark index immediately shed 8 points or 0.13 percent yesterday, opening at 6,061.79 and further fell below its 6,000 support level. The index, however, came up a bit after the government announced its economic growth numbers.

Astro del Castillo, managing director at First Grade Holdings, said external factors have turned off investors in the local equities market, but the country’s strong economic fundamentals remain to help withstand uncertainties in the coming trading days.

The country’s main stock index is still up more than 2 percent so far this year despite the emerging market selloff, while most others in Southeast Asia are in the red.

Highest Rate Since 2009

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said the 7.2 percent economic expansion last year is the country’s highest growth rate since 2010, above the 6 percent to 7 percent target.

The October to November GDP growth is the country’s eighth consecutive quarter with above 6 percent expansion since June 2010, he added.

The strong economic output in 2013 was due to strengthening business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism sectors, Purisima said.

He also cited the country’s current account surplus which averaged 4.3 percent of GDP in the last eight years – $83.8 billion in reserves as of December, 2013 – compared with the ASEAN average of 2.5 percent.

But Purisima stressed the urgency of preparing the country against adverse effects of climate change

“Moving forward, our efforts in disaster risk management will include increasing microinsurance coverage, stimulating infrastructure development, maximizing the participation of local government units in funding, and providing a fiscal buffer against large-scale disaster responses,” he said. (With reports from Chino S. Leyco and Genalyn D. Kabiling)

  • Such_Fun

    Prefer to calculate GDP in actual value not by percentage. 2nd to china but in actual figures, value could just be 1%

  • zyb3rd0rk

    i’m an ofw. i,m not sure, but my observation if the nation is doing well economically, is looking at how strong our currency’s buying power in the international market is. i used to remit money monthly and i say that the Philippines did fairly well last year since year round exchange rate is low. meaning the peso is high. i pay more locally sending the same amount I used to send. in my opinion, pnoy is doing well (probably not that well) and is on the right track. what we can do is to keep the faith and contribute with whatever we can for this agenda to succeed.

  • Mico Babida

    Yes, i know that almost everybody is not happy with this report and i can understand why. All of the below mentioned reasons are very reliable and worth considering but my fellow Filipino people please don’t be so bias with the issue. The Aquino Government lacks a lot of things i will give you that but at least this President is actually trying to do something about the current condition of the country. I agree with all of your sentiments but let us give the administration a chance, you might not be able to feel this “7.2%” growth and it might really not be true but think about it carefully before you criticize. The Philippines have been down in its knees for a very long time starting with Cory’s term not to mention that the presidents and most government employees that followed her were corrupt officials. During that long period of corrupt governance here comes a man who tries to change things and what do we do?we condemn the man without realizing that what his doing is very hard. Even if YOU your selves are in his position you wont be able to ascend the country with a blink of an eye in fact no one can. No man is capable of doing it with just one or two terms as President specially if you have senators like Revilla, Estrada and Enrile who continuously plot black propaganda to bring you down. Considering the welfare of the country could would you be able to change everything with one term as president Mr. eagleclaw101 or any body else regarding the matter?i think not and we should all know the reason why. the reason is that the Philippines is so down it its knees that one or two terms as president cant really permanently solve problems like poverty, lack of jobs or corrupt officials. What PNOY really did is just to start resolving the problems and what we need now is to continually have presidents in the future who truly wants to help the country. Presidents who are not afraid to fight for his people and by far very different from former President Arroyo who only made herself and her friends wealthy. For this to happen we the common people must inter act with the government, we must meddle with the government’s affairs so that we can learn more about them and in the future elect the correct leaders. If we can continually do this then for sure the Philippines would be able to rise again and the Filipino people would be able to feel the change but believe me my friends when i say that if we don’t then we most definitely be stuck in this never ending cycle of poverty.

    • freddie G.

      Well point taken Mico, all those downplaying PNoy’s HONEST effort to change the systemic “Culture of Corruption” in the Phil. are nothing but the typical “Tuta” of the old boys network of Enrile, Revilla, Estrada, Marcoses, et al as well as those so called “kababayans” who want to pull you down when you’re being successful in whatever work or business you’re doing! These naysayers don’t realize that they are lucky to have PNoy rather than us here is the USA who has the Obummer (aka Benghazi Liar-In-Chief) who spends a lot of US Taxpayers’ money on over 100 golf games, lavish grand vacations with his First Lady Mooochelle’s wasteful ostentatious accommodations & shopping (ala Imelda Marcos’ style) along well with their “parasitic families & friends” (ala Blue Ladies, Gen. Ver, et al) and mind you PNoy doesn’t even have a First Lady… and that my so called “kababayan/tutas” is a great saving like Imelda who wantonly spent the Filipino people’s monies on very extravagant trips and shopping abroad along with her parasitic entourage of “Blue Ladies” friends! Kaya if I were you, I’ll count my blessings or shall I quote the Good Book: “to look first on the ‘timber’ on your eyes rather seeing the ‘toothpick’ in someone else eyes” Mabuti pa tumahimik na lang para hindi mahalatang mga “Useful Idiots” katulad ng mga bumoto sa mga Marcoses, Estrada, Arroyo, Obama, et al!!!

      • Mico Babida

        thank you for reading and even minding my post :)

  • marvin blues

    7.2% what it has to do with me, until now i don’t have job, and all i know in this country is that the rapid increases of basic commodities, it’s good that this percentage will be converted into livelihood, and low inflation.

  • talagalangha

    Is this the hair growth rate for Pnoy in his lifetime….?

    • freddie G.

      Tange Talagalangha…mabuti na ‘yang hair growth kaysa 0.0001% growth rate sa height ni Arroyo ninyo! LOL!

  • eagleclaw101

    7.2% IMAGINARY
    GROWTH

    ARSENIO BALISACAN, socio economic planning secretary of Pnoy
    government, a former grade 1 public school teacher knowledgeable in
    “Story-Telling-a-Lie” improvisation. Consumers spending increased due to OFW
    surged of remittances to tide them over due to calamities. What positive growth
    on real state business when construction stunted and shrunk instead? What
    manufacturing boom NEDA is talking about? Our farmers are being bumped-off by
    rampant and unstoppable smuggling operations hence agriculture is virtually on
    the dying end. NOYNOY three years and a half of publicity stunt rule hasn’t
    even started a single gigantic project to justify their massive spending. This
    imaginary 7.2% economic growth belongs solely to each member of LP tickets,
    cronies, Pangilinan groups of companies, Zobel/Ayala, Conjuangcos/Aquinos, oligarchs, and corrupt government officials. The only creditable yardstick to measure if the economy is improving if they can minimize hunger and not this manufactured
    figures concocted by this Malacanang sycophant lapdog Balisacan whom by the way
    has close association with SWS and PULSE ASIA survey groups.

    • Pinoy2

      I can’t agree with you more. 7.2 is another big white elephant of the Philippines. The U.S. is content with a 2% growth after the financial crisis from 2008 and Japan at 1.7% and this Balisacan character says the Philippines has it at 7.2% is not only outrageous but also irresponsible considering half of the population of Pinoys have can barely put descent food on their tables once a day. Did not even mention the unemployment rate which is more than 15%. Incompetence again at it’s best.

      • ranzchic

        Ummm, advanced economies tend to grow at a slower pace while emerging economies tend to shoot up at double or triple the speed. This is normal because poorer countries have a lot of room to grow.

  • eagleclaw101

    7.2% IMAGINARY
    GROWTH

    ARSENIO BALISACAN, socio economic planning secretary of Pnoy
    government, a former grade 1 public school teacher knowledgeable in
    “Story-Telling-a-Lie” improvisation. Consumers spending increased due to OFW
    surged of remittances to tide them over due to calamities. What positive growth
    on real state business when construction stunted and shrunk instead? What
    manufacturing boom NEDA is talking about? Our farmers are being bumped-off by
    rampant and unstoppable smuggling operations hence agriculture is virtually on
    the dying end. NOYNOY three years and a half of publicity stunt rule hasn’t
    even started a single gigantic project to justify their massive spending. This
    imaginary 7.2% economic growth belongs solely to each member of LP tickets,
    cronies, Pangilinan groups of companies, Zobel/Ayala, Conjuangcos/Aquinos, oligarchs, and corrupt government officials. The only creditable yardstick to measure if the economy is improving if they can minimize hunger and not this manufactured
    figures concocted by this Malacanang sycophant lapdog Balisacan whom by the way
    has close association with SWS and PULSE ASIA survey groups.