MANILA – (UPDATE 4, 10:49 a.m.) The Philippine economy grew 7.1 percent in the third quarter, the National Statistical Coordination Board said on Wednesday.
This led the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 6.5 percent in the first nine months, or above the high-end of the government’s full-year target range of 5-6 percent. A measure of economic performance, GDP is the amount of final goods and services produced in the country.
The third-quarter expansion exceeded analyst expectations of 5.4-5.5 percent, after growth slowed to 6 percent in the April-June quarter from the 6.4 percent in the January-March period.
“We are on our way to exceeding our target of 5-6 percent,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said, adding that the country’s third-quarter expansion is the fastest in Asean.
He said Indonesia trailed the Philippines with growth of 6.2 percent, followed by Malaysia, 5.2 percent; Vietnam, 4.7 percent; Thailand, 3 percent; and Singapore, 0.3 percent. China however remains the fastest-growing in Asia at 7.7 percent.
Driving Philippine GDP growth in the July to September period were industry and the services sectors.
The services sector, which comprises half of the economy, expanded 7 percent. Industry, which grew by 5.5 percent in the second quarter, increased 8.1 percent. Agriculture, which took a hit from inclement weather in the July-August period, nonetheless grew by 4.1 percent.
On the demand side, consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the country’s GDP, rose 6.2 percent. Government spending accelerated by 12 percent, with construction jumping 24.8 percent.