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Philippines’ GDP growth at 7.2% in 2013

The Philippines’ full year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 grew by 7.2 percent, higher than the government’s expectations of 6 percent to 7 percent and despite several challenges that strained the economy last year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balicasan on Thursday announced that the increase was fueled by the industry and service sectors, service exports, and other services in education, health and social work.

Makati, economic growth, Manila Bulletin, GDP

Photo shows part of the skyline of Makati, the country’s major financial district which is home to top companies that help pull the economy forward. The Philippine economy grew by 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which makes the Philippines as one of the best performing economies in the Asian region in the said period, second to China with 7.7 percent growth. (Photo by Jacqueline Hernandez)

In a televised press conference at the Philippine Statistics Authority in Makati City, Balicasan said the economy grew by 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which makes the Philippines as one of the best performing economies in the Asian region in the said period, second to China with 7.7 percent growth.

Balicasan, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), admitted that the man-made and natural calamities that successively struck the country last year have affected the full year growth, but stressed that economy remains strong throughout the year.

“Indeed, 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,” he said.

Yolanda caused multi-billion-peso damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the Visayas, effectively paralyzing the region’s economic activity.

Balicasan reported that agriculture only represents 0.1 percentage point in the real GDP. This could be due to the effects of the destructive typhoons last year which have severely affected the agricultural supply in Visayas.

The typhoons are also seen as the main reason for the lower growth in household spending at 5.6 percent during the fourth quarter last year as the natural calamities caused “supply shocks” that resulted in higher consumer prices.


Balicasan expects the agriculture and industry sectors to be “vibrant” this year if the two work closer.

Meanwhile, services sector has contributed to 3.6 percent of the real GDP growth in the last quarter of 2013, followed by the industry sector with 2.8 percent. The sectors of manufacturing, trade, finance, and real estate have also helped drive the supply side of the economy, Balicasan added.

The strong demand for communications, land and air transportation, drove a 6.5 percent growth in services sector. The need for storage and services incidental to transport also contributed to the growth.

“Increased air traffic in Q4 2013 was due to the additional flights and destinations of the country’s leading airlines, and number of passengers and cargo for tourism and for relief operations after super typhoon Yolanda,” he said.

Balicasan noted that construction sector had the biggest setback in the fourth quarter, with only 0.8 percent growth due to stricter rules imposed on real estate lending.

“Overall, however, the fourth quarter and full-year 2013 real GDP growth has surpassed the expectations of both the public and private sectors,” he said.

Balicasan said the government is optimistic that the Philippine economy will remain strong in 2014 especially that the outlook on the global economy is becoming more favorable and as the domestic economy remains robust.

He said the the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have higher growth expectations for the global economy in the coming year, with IMF seeing global activity growing by 3.7 percent in 2014 and 3.9 percent in 2015.

Moreover, the World Bank projects the growth at 3.2 percent in 2014 and 3.4 percent in 2015.

  • brix xenon

    Thus anybody knows the top 20 companies who helps increased GNP of PH?

  • Keanu Ribs

    even 10% growth would not be enough, they will be just sucked by the growing population of the non-tax paying filipinos.

  • a concern citizen

    we shouldnt blame the government to the rising and countless number of poor individuals because most of the time, these peolple are the ones who caused themselves to be poor. wala na ngang hanapbuhay, wala nang maipakain sa anak, magaanak pa ng magaanak. So, its not the government who is liable for that. dont get me wrong but its the reality. if only theres something that the government should take place and make a move, its the undying CORRUPTION. be sensitive. stop stealing of which is not yours.

  • rj

    Long way to go but still a good step forward. Hope that he government progress would continue in the hope that poor would reap its benefits.

  • redkoenig

    6-7 % is good news; the challenge is sustaining it for decades to help uplift the very poor; also, empower the poor to be able to pursue family planning & finalize and implement the RH law. What good is 6 or 7% gdp if Filipinos keep making babies they can’t afford to feed? And yes, more reforms & open up the economy more to foreign investors…change this 40% limit to foreign investors…even Vietnam is open up to 100% on foreign investors! Stop making the billionnaires in the Phils. getting richer…they’re the only ones who really benefit by this 40% limit because of less competition to big conglomerates.

    • sadam

      how is it good news when there is growing income disparity. It is only the rich capitalist who gains. while the remain poor. there is something wrong with the distribution of wealth therefore the poor is not uplifted as there was no reported job growth. and that the Republic is based on consumer based economy.

  • Jeyts69

    Good numbers however we need to be consistent for a decade or two before we could feel progress. The Government would also need to support SMB. Other than that they need to change that 40-60 foreign investment ruling in our constitution.

  • DanteCatalino Garcia

    GDP statistics and other government statics that Aquino keeps waving do not mean a thing to the people sa streets na hungry, no permanent place to stay, no meaning full job, unemployed, underemployed, etc.

    • Ole Kristian Nårstad

      tama wala ngang epekto, bakit ang akala mo ba maaalis ang kahirapan sa loob ng isang taon? it takes decades or centuries, depending on the annual gdp growth… kung ang gdp laging nasa 7 percent mababawasan ng malaki kahirapan sa pinas in 20 years, pero kung higit na mas mababa sa 7, aabutin ng daang taon bago umunlad ang pinas

      • lewk

        i agree. ang china consistenly na maintain nila ang phenomenal gdp growth rate of around 10% each year for almost or more than 20 years. kaya nga ngayon dumami na ang kanilang middle class at laking porsyento ang nabawas sa poverty nila. we cannot eradicate poverty in just 2,3,4,5 years. it’s a long term problem. korea and taiwan started 30/40 years back of consistently high annual gdp growth.

        gdp is a short-term gauge for the countrie’s economic performance, which if sustained, will benefit more and more of the populace.

        we need to strengthen our political institutions, promote transparency and good governance. will take 3/4/5 of good and honest administrations to sustain healthy growth in the economy, improve the investment climate…which ultimately will result in more job opportunities para sa ating mga kababayan.

  • ming_mow

    no jobs, high cost of living, no export and still got a 7.2% growth of course they will have growth since water, gas, electricity and communication are in all time high




      Do you have any idea how to calculate this GDP? or lets start with this Q. Do you know what GDP mean?

    • dan


      • ming_mow

        so are they cheap? can you provide something to challenge my claim?

    • lewk

      siguro, in layman’s terms or in a simplified way, GDP is a measure of the value of how much a country produces in a year – and that includes goods and services. if for example, Phils produces 1000 electronic units @ USD5 per unit, then it’s GDP annual would be USD5000. some countries are richer because of its higher capacity to produce, say Korea produces 20000 units, because of its wide manufacturing base and highly technological and state of the art economy. the more you produce, the more productive you are as a country, the more income you have, because you are able to sell and export all your products…