Philippines plunges into recession, the first since 1991

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A cat walks past a man wearing a protective face mask who guard a barricade placed on an empty street amid the lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Metro Manila, Philippines, April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

The Philippine economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter, officially entering recession territory, data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.

The Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 16.5% in the second quarter, the PSA reported earlier this morning.
The preliminary figure was lower than the 0.7% decline in the previous quarter and a reversal from the 5.4% growth in the second quarter of 2019.

This was the biggest contraction based on available PSA data. The second-largest drop was in the third quarter of 1984 when the economy posted a 10.7% decline.

The second-quarter result also put the Philippines into a technical recession—defined as the economy’s GDP posting two straight quarters of decline—for the first time since 1991.

The latest figure was lower than the median decline of 11% in a BusinessWorld poll of 17 economists conducted last week.

The country’s first-half GDP performance stood at -8.6%, way off the expected contraction of the government at 2.0-3.4% this year.

Gross national income—the sum of the nation’s GDP and net income received from overseas— posted a 17% decline in the April-June period compared to 4.9% growth in the 2019’s comparable three months. — Marissa Mae M. Ramos