THE PHILIPPINE economy extended its streak of decline to five straight quarters, making it the longest recession since the Marcos era when economic output shrank for nine consecutive quarters from 1983 to 1985.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 4.2% in the first quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported earlier this morning.

The latest result was slower than last year’s recorded contractions of 17% in the second quarter, 11.6% in the third quarter, and 8.3% in the fourth quarter. However, this was still above the 0.7% dip posted in the first quarter of 2020.

This was also lower than the median decline of 2.6% in a BusinessWorld poll of 18 analysts conducted last week, as well as the government’s 6.5%-7.5% growth target range for this year.

Gross national income — the sum of the nation’s GDP and net income received from overseas — posted a 10.9% decline in the first quarter compared with a 1.6% contraction in 2020’s comparable three months. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona