The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew in the fourth quarter last year, beating market estimates, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

Preliminary data by the statistics agency showed the country’s GDP accelerated by 7.7% in the fourth quarter, a reversal of the 8.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2020. This was also higher than the revised 6.9% in the third quarter last year.

This brought the full-year growth to 5.6%, rebounding from record 9.6% contraction in 2020.

Last year’s fourth-quarter GDP was above the 6.5% median estimate of 18 economists yielded from a BusinessWorld poll conducted last week.

Likewise, full-year GDP print was higher than the 5.3% median estimate and the 5%-5.5% 2021 growth assumption of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).

Quarter on quarter, the economy grew by a seasonally adjusted 3.1%.

All major sectors posted growths in the fourth quarter, led by industry (9.5% from -10.6% in fourth-quarter 2020), services (7.9% to -8%), and agriculture (1.4% from -2.5%).

On the expenditure side, private consumption posted a 7.5% growth in the fourth quarter, a reversal from the 7.3% decline in the final three months of 2020.

Government spending grew by 7.4%, higher than 5.1% in the same period in 2020.

Likewise, gross capital formation expanded by 12.6% versus the 32.2% contraction recorded in 2020

Exports of goods and services also went up by 8.3% (from -10.2% in fourth-quarter 2020, while imports grew by 13.7% (from -20.2%). — A. O. A. Tirona