by: Karen Cayamanda
Friday, January 29, 2016 |
With higher government spending, better private consumption, and increased economic activity as the Philippines celebrated the holiday season, the country's economy grew by 6.3 percent during the last quarter of 2015. This makes the country one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The 6.3 percent posted last quarter was higher than the growth prediction of economists who took part in a survey by The Wall Street Journal. It was also higher than the 6.1 percent of the third quarter. With this Q4 growth, the overall GDP growth of the country for last year was 5.8 percent. Though it did not meet the 7-8 percent target of the government, it is still higher than its neighboring countries which are affected by the slowdown in China and weak global demand.
According to Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, 2015's economic growth was "respectable", considering the external volatilities such as weak global demand, slow government spending in the first six months of 2015, as well as the El Nino phenomenon.
The services sector, which forms half of the country's output, grew by 7.4 percent, while the industrial sector expanded by 6.8 percent. Fourth quarter saw a 6.4 percent increase in private consumption, and government spending rose by 17.4 percent. Also, investment posted an increase of 13.5 percent.
Balisacan said while this is considered strong economic growth, there is still a need to improve spending to further protect the domestic economy from external risks. Also, a seven-percent growth could be achieved if infrastructure and regulatory constraints are addressed.
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