Economy expands at 6.6% in fourth quarter, 6.7% in 2017

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The Philippine economy posted 6.6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

The October-December outcome was lower than the previous quarter’s upwardly revised 7%, but was the same pace as the growth recorded a year earlier.

This brings growth in 2017 to 6.7%, matching the median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll last week, and was near the low end of the government’s 6.5%-7.5% target band for 2017.

Service sector — which contributed 47% of GDP last quarter — propped up growth after rising by 6.8% from 7.2% in 2016. The industry sector also grew by 7.3%, slower than the 7.9% recorded in the same period last year.

Output in the agriculture sector rose by 2.4%, a turnaround from the 1.3% contraction in the last quarter of 2016.

On the expenditure side, household spending rose grew 6.1% during the period, slightly lower than the 6.2% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Government spending was also up by 14.3% from 4.5% while capital formation expanded by 8.2% from 14.7%.

Exports of goods and services rose by 18.6%, faster than 2016’s 13.4%, while imports grew by 17.5% from 15.4%.

Gross national income – the sum of the nation’s GDP and net income received from overseas – registered a growth of 6.2% in the last quarter of 2017 from 6% previously. — Christine Joyce S. Castañeda