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Economy expands 6.1% in fourth quarter, 6.2% in 2018

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By Lourdes O. Pilar, Reporter

THE Philippine economy posted a 6.1% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

The October-December outcome was higher than the previous quarter’s revised 6%, but slower than the 6.5% growth recorded a year earlier.

This brings growth in 2018 to 6.2%, missing the 6.3% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll last week. Likewise, it missed the downward-revised 6.5%-6.9% target set by the government for 2018.

On the supply side, the Industry sector grew by 6.9%, slower than the 7% recorded in the same period last year. For full-year 2018, it grew by 6.8% versus 2017’s 7.2%.

Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing grew 1.7% in the fourth quarter versus the fourth quarter 2017’s 2.4%. For the year, it grew 0.8% compared to 4% in 2017.




The Service sector was also grew slower by 6.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to 6.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. This brings the sector’s full-year growth at 6.6%, decelerating from 2017’s 6.8%.

On the demand side, growth in household spending was at 5.4%, lower than 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Growth in 2018 was also slower at 5.6% versus 2017’s 5.9%.

Government spending, meanwhile, recorded a 11.9% growth in the fourth quarter albeit decelerating from 12.2% in the same period in 2017. However, its 12.8% growth in 2018 was faster than 7% in 2017.

Private investment, which is represented in the data as capital formation, slowed down during the quarter at 5.5% compared to 8.3% previously. Still, it grew by 13.9% in 2018 against the 9.4% the year prior.

Exports of goods and services rose by 13.2% in fourth quarter (2018: 11.5%), slower than 20.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017 (2017: 19.5%). Imports also slowed, growing by 11.8% in the fourth quarter (2018: 14.5%) compared to 18.1% in both the fourth quarter and full-year 2017.

Gross national income — the sum of the nation’s GDP and net income received from overseas — registered a growth of 5.2% in the last quarter of 2018 from 6.1% in 2017’s comparable three months. For 2018, it grew 5.8% against 2017’s 6.6%.