Second-quarter economic growth slowest in 17 quarters

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The Philippine economy posted a 5.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

The second quarter outcome was lower than the 5.6% in the previous quarter and 6.2% in the second quarter of 2018.

This was the slowest expansion in 17 quarters or since the 5.1% logged in the first quarter of 2015.

This was also lower than the 5.9% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll of 15 institutions conducted last week as well as missing the downward revised 6%-7% target set by the government for 2019.

On the supply side, services led the way with a 7.1% expansion, faster than the 6.7% recorded in the same period last year.

The industry sector grew by 3.7% in the second quarter, slower than last year’s 6.5%.

Meanwhile, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector grew by 0.6%, faster than 0.3% growth in the second quarter of 2018 albeit slower than the 0.7% in the first quarter of 2019.

On the demand side, government spending recorded a 6.9% growth, slower than 7.4% growth the previous quarter and 11.9% in the second quarter of 2018.

Likewise, growth in household spending slowed to 5.6% in the second quarter from the previous quarter’s 6.1% and six percent last year.

Growth in the exports of goods and services was slower at 4.4% from 14.7% last year. Meanwhile, growth in the imports of goods and services was muted at around 0.04% from last year’s twenty-one percent growth.

On the other hand, private investment, which is represented in the data as capital formation, declined during the quarter at 8.5% compared to the eight percent growth in the first quarter and the twenty-percent expansion in the second quarter of 2018.

Gross national income – the sum of the nation’s GDP and net income received from overseas – posted a 5.1% growth in the April-June period compared to 5.9% in the 2018’s comparable three months. — Christine Joyce S. Castañeda