Economy likely grew 7-7.2% in Q2 — DOF

Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - The economy likely expanded within the seven percent to 7.2 percent range in the second quarter on the back of strong exports and agricultural output, as well as improved public spending, the Department of Finance (DOF) reported yesterday.

 In an interview, Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said economic growth for the second quarter is projected to be higher than the 6.4 percent registered in the first quarter.

“The second quarter gross domestic product growth will be better than the first quarter. We think the numbers are better. It’s possible that it has even breached seven percent,” Beltran said.

Beltran attributed the upbeat outlook to the stronger performance of the exports and agricultural sector, and the increase in government expenditures during the period.

“Exports for the first half is 13.6 percent up, last year it was negative 3.5 percent,” Beltran said.

According to data from the Philippines Statistics Authority, Philippine exports grew 13.6 percent to $31.04 billion in the first half as compared to the $27.33 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Beltran also expects the agriculture sector to exhibit positive growth in the second quarter due to lack of weather disturbances, such as El Nino and storms.

The local farm sector posted a 6.18 percent growth in output in the second quarter of 2017 according to the PSA.

Earlier, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said he is also expecting the GDP growth to approach seven percent in the second quarter. He said this growth would be driven by the agriculture and exports sector.

Economic managers maintained their GDP growth projection between 6.5 and 7.5 percent for 2017 due to improving exports and public spending.

“The DBCC forecasts sustained economic growth in the Philippines as macroeconomic fundamentals including imports remain stable, while exports are expected to improve, furthermore, the expansionary fiscal policy of the government is expected to boost the performance of the Philippine economy,” the DBCC said.

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