The Philippine economy may have grown robust over 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 despite slower trade performance, as other key domestic sectors continued to pick up speed, according to the country’s chief economic planner.
“It (at least 7.5 percent growth) is within the range of possibilities. I think it is quite going to be robust because so far, all the indicators are quite positive,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters on the sidelines of the launching of the 2012/2013 Philippine Human Development Report yesterday.
Balisacan expected manufacturing and construction, key growth drivers in the second quarter, continued.
“Consumption also likely grew because of the very favorable macroeconomic environment – inflation rate and interest rates are low, remittances have continued to be quite positive,” he noted.
Balisacan, also the National Economic and Development Authority Director General, added that the peso depreciation and reports from the business sector about their continuing confidence likewise likely to have impacted on the second-quarter economic growth.
At least 7.5 percent gross domestic product, the measure of the country’s economic performance, is well within the growth projection of investment house First Metro Investment Corp. and the University of Asia and the Pacific for the period.
Philippine GDP in the first quarter grew 7.8 percent, the highest among ASEAN economies, boosted by the strong performances of manufacturing and construction.
Meanwhile, the Baliscan said that economic managers may revise to single-digit the 10-percent exports and 12-percent imports targets for this year.
Balisacan noted that revisions also largely depend on growths of agricultural and agro processed exports.
He cited the business process outsourcing and agro-processed products which have high domestic contents.
Philippine aggregate merchandise exports from January to May declined by six percent to $21.09 billion from previous year’s $22.44 billion on lower sales of semiconductors.
On the other hand, imports were also down 2.37 percent to $ 5.26 billion in May 2013 from $ 5.39 billion last year. Shipments were pulled down by lower payments for capital goods, mineral fuels and lubricants, the NEDA said.*PNA