PH still among Asia’s fastest grow­ing economies

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

MANILA -- The Philip­pines re­mained one of the fastest grow­ing economies in Asia even af­ter post­ing slightly slower growth at 6.1 per­cent in the third quar­ter, due to weaker agri­cul­ture out­put and ‘tem­po­rary’ de­cline in house­hold spend­ing over an in­fla­tion surge.

In a press brief­ing on Thurs­day, So­cioe­co­nomic Plan­ning Sec­re­tary Ernesto Per­nia said an eco­nomic growth of at least 6 per­cent for 14 con­sec­u­tive quar­ters sug­gests that the coun­try is “now on a higher growth tra­jec­tory.”

He said the coun­try’s third-quar­ter eco­nomic growth fol­lowed Viet­nam’s 7 per­cent and China’s 6.5 per­cent, and way ahead of In­done­sia’s 5.2 per­cent.

Per­nia said he is op­ti­mistic the do­mes­tic de­mand will shift to high gear again in the fourth quar­ter due to the hol­i­day sea­son, as the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues ad­dress­ing up­ward pres­sures on prices, es­pe­cially on food.

He cited the is­suance of Ad­min­is­tra­tive Or­der No. 13 stream­lin­ing pro­ce­dures cov­er­ing the im­por­ta­tion of food prod­ucts.

“From the pre­vi­ous years, fourth-quar­ter con­sump­tion spend­ing nor­mally picks up quite a bit,” he noted.

In­fla­tion re­mained at 6.7 per­cent in Oc­to­ber 2018, but eased month-on-month by 0.3 per­cent since it peaked in Au­gust.

Na­tional Statis­ti­cian and Philip­pine Statis­tics Au­thor­ity (PSA) head Lisa Grace Ber­sales said “for Metro Manila, in­fla­tion is slow­ing down so we would ex­pect this to en­cour­age more house­hold con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture at least for Metro Manila.”

Per­nia, who is also the Na­tional Eco­nomic and Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (NEDA) Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, said the econ­omy would have grown “eas­ily be­tween 6.5 to 7 per­cent” in July to Septem­ber if in­fla­tion did not in­crease.

The PSA re­ported that ser­vices had the high­est con­tri­bu­tion to the over­all growth in the third quar­ter with 4.1 per­cent­age points, fol­lowed by in­dus­try with 2.1 per­cent­age points.

The agri­cul­ture sec­tor, how­ever, pulled down the growth by -0.03 per­cent­age points.

Per­nia at­trib­uted the weak­ness of the agri­cul­tural sec­tor to the highly-reg­u­lated trad­ing regime, and sev­eral ty­phoons that de­layed the plant­ing de­ci­sions of the farm­ers.

“As we have been say­ing, the more ro­bust so­lu­tion is to re­form the le­gal frame­work sur­round­ing agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment and agri­cul­tural trade, es­pe­cially on rice and sugar,” he said.

Per­nia fur­ther said the econ­omy needs to ex­pand by at least 7 per­cent in the fourth quar­ter to achieve the low-end of the gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of 6.5 to 6.9 per­cent growth rate for 2018.

The GDP ac­cel­er­ated 6.2 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter this year, and 7.2 per­cent in third quar­ter in 2017.

“The re­cent re­sump­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties in Bo­ra­cay (Is­land) will boost ser­vices growth over the medium term,” he added. (PNA)

DTI CHIEF BRINGS “TRABAHO, NEGOSYO, KABUHAYAN” TO OFWS IN CHINA— Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) Sec­re­tary Ra­mon Lopez (5th from L) brought the agency's Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) sem­i­nar to Over­seas Filipino Work­ers (OFWs) in Shang­hai on 6 No­vem­ber. Sec. Lopez en­cour­aged OFWs to ride on the solid growth of the Philip­pine econ­omy and en­cour­age their fam­i­lies back home to be more en­ter­pris­ing. The TNK sem­i­nar was held at the Li­way­way Fac­tory—known for its snack food brand Oishi—in Qingpu and was at­tended by over 200 OFWs. Other speak­ers who of­fered in­sights on start­ing a busi­ness were Philip­pine Fran­chise As­so­ci­a­tion Trustee Sher­ill Quin­tana, who talked about how to in­vest in the right fran­chise; and First Metro Se­cu­ri­ties Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Head An­doy Beltran (3rd from L) who tack­led how to raise cap­i­tal ef­fi­ciency through var­i­ous fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments. DTI Ex­port Mar­ket­ing Bureau Di­rec­tor Se­nen Per­lada (left­most) also dis­cussed Ex­ports and Trad­ing 101, and gave an over­view of Philip­pines and China trade trends and op­por­tu­ni­ties. DTI's TNK pro­gram is a part­ner­ship ini­tia­tive with the pri­vate sec­tor, academe, and civil so­ci­ety that aims to pro­mote en­trepreneur­ship in or­der to gen­er­ate jobs for and in­crease the in­come of Filipinos. Mem­bers of the var­i­ous Filipino com­mu­ni­ties at­tended the TNK in Shang­hai. Also present at the event were PH Am­bas­sador to China Jose San­ti­ago 'Chito' Sta. Ro­mana (6th from L), Con­sul Gen­eral Wil­fredo Cuyu­gan (4th from R), Li­way­way Pres­i­dent Larry Chan (3rd from R), DTI Un­der­sec­re­tary Nora Ter­rado (4th from L), DTI-Philip­pine Trade and In­vest­ment Cen­ter (PTIC) Bei­jing Com­mer­cial Coun­sel­lor Glenn Peñaranda (right­most), and DTI-PTIC Guangzhou Com­mer­cial Vice Con­sul John Paul Iñigo (2nd from L).

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