CUSTOMERS eat at a restaurant in a mall in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

By Abigail Marie P. Yraola, Researcher

THE economy grew at a slower pace than initially reported in the first quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Monday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) — the value of all finished goods and services produced in the country at a given period — expanded 8.2% in the January-March period, slightly lower than the 8.3% previously reported on May 12.

First quarter gross national income — the sum of the nation’s GDP and net primary income from the rest of the world — was revised downward to 10.6% from the earlier estimate of 10.7%.

The services sector grew 8.3%, slower than the initially reported of 8.6%. The industry sector saw slightly faster growth at 10.5% from the earlier estimate of 10.4%.

The growth of real estate and ownership of dwellings was lowered to 5.9%, from 7.9% previously.

Downward revisions were also observed in the following services subsectors: accommodation and food service activities (20.3% from 21%); professional and business services (8.3% from 8.8%); wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (7% from 7.3%); information and communication (7.4% from 7.7%); and transportation and storage (26.3% from 26.5%).

For the industry sector, mining and quarrying’s expansion was revised upward to 20.3% from 17%, while construction growth was now at 14.7% from 13.5% initially.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector’s growth remained unchanged at 0.2%.

On the expenditure side, household consumption was revised downward to 10%, from 10.1% initially reported, while government spending was unchanged at 3.6%.

Growth in imports of goods and services was trimmed to 15.4% from 15.6%, while exports growth was upgraded to 10.4% from 10.3%.

Gross capital formation, the investment component of the economy, improved to 20.4% from the earlier estimate of 20%.

The PSA is set to release preliminary data figures for second quarter GDP on Tuesday morning.

A BusinessWorld poll of 18 economists bared a median estimate of 7.5% year-on-year growth in the second quarter.

If realized, this pace would be slower than the revised 8.2% in the first quarter and 12.1% in the second quarter last year. This would also bring the first-half average growth to 7.8%.

The government targets 6.5-7.5% GDP growth this year.

National account revisions are based on approved revision policy, which is consistent with international standard practices, the PSA said.