Philippine GDP Expands in Second Quarter, Matches Malaysia's 6.4 Percent Growth

The Philippines' economic growth accelerated to 6.4 percent in the second quarter of 2014, the fastest pace in more than a year, indicating that the economy is back on the higher trajectory of growth registered in 2012 and 2013.

The country remains as one of the bright spots in the region, the second fastest growing economy among major Asian countries for the period, tied with Malaysia’s 6.4% and topping other major ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, which has 5.1 percent, and Thailand with 0.3 percent.

The expansion was driven by the strong growth demonstrated by most sectors, except for the construction sector.

Agriculture grew by 3.6 percent, a rebound from 0.2 percent contraction in the second quarter last year. This was due to the big turnaround in major crop harvests. Industry grew by 7.8 percent, partly moderated by the weak performance of the construction industry.

Although private construction increased by 12.7 percent during the second quarter compared to last year, public construction reversed last year’s strong growth and recorded a significant reduction in the second quarter.

The gross value added in manufacturing accelerated to 10.8 percent in this period, buoyed by strong external demand and household final consumption.

Meanwhile, the services sector expanded by 6 percent, mainly due to trade, real estate, renting and business activities, and transport, storage & communication.  This was in response to the increased demand for business process management and the expansion of economic activities.

"Overall, we see that the country still has a strong likelihood of achieving the full-year growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent," says Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

"Expectations survey show that businesses maintain their positive outlook on the economy.  However, we are aware that market players are still looking for more positive signals, in particular the public sector’s key role in infrastructure spending and consumption of nondurables."

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