The Philippine economy as measured by the gross domestic product or GDP expanded by 7.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter last year. This is higher than the analysts’ median forecast of 7.2 percent.
This is the fourth consecutive quarter that the country’s GDP has been expanding above 7 percent. The country has been experiencing growth of above 6 percent since the first quarter of 2012. While the first quarter growth was slightly higher at 7.7 percent, this 7.5 percent second quarter growth is well within the target range of 7- to 8-percent GDP growth as originally outlined in the Philippine Development Plan or PDP for 2011 to 2016.
“We remain the fastest growing economy among emerging economies in the ASEAN region,” says Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. “The 7.5-percent growth, which is the same as that of China, surpasses the growth rates of our Asian neighbors.”
Within the ASEAN region, Indonesia grew by 5.8 percent; Viet Nam by 5.0 percent; Malaysia by 4.3 percent; Singapore by 3.8 percent; and Thailand by 2.8 percent. The country’s growth rate is significantly higher than that of Hong Kong with 3.3 percent, Japan with 2.6 percent, Chinese Taipei with 2.5 percent, and South Korea by 2.3 percent.
“The composition of our growth shows signs of an economy that is in the process of rebalancing, moving from being largely consumption-driven to becoming investment-led and industrialized, with the ability to provide higher quality jobs for Filipinos,” notes Balisacan. “For the past three quarters, capital formation has been growing more rapidly than household consumption and the growth of industry has so far outpaced that of the services sector. Notable are the double-digit growth rates in fixed capital and the manufacturing subsector in the last quarter.”
In the past, the country's growth was driven largely by the service sector that had only been able to provide mostly low-paying, unstable, intermittent, and low-productivity jobs predominantly in the informal sector.
“With the rebound of the industry sector, we are optimistic that more stable, productive and remunerative jobs, even for the less-skilled, will be generated, which will address persistent unemployment and underemployment and will lead to better quality of life,” says Balisacan.