Philippine economy grows by 6.7 percent in 2017

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(Source: CNN Philippines | January 23, 2018)

The economy grew by 6.7 percent in 2017, keeping the Philippines in step with the fastest-growing countries in Asia, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia said on Tuesday.

“(It is) a strong finish that keeps our position as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia after China’s 6.9 and Vietnam’s 6.8 percent,” he said in a briefing.

Pernia noted that the economy remains “on target” despite a slight fall from the 6.9 percent growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016. This year, the country has a 7 to 8 percent growth target.

“This is a good performance given the fact that it’s normal for post-election years to witness a decline in economic growth,” he explained.

For the 4th quarter of 2017, GDP growth was at 6.6 percent compared to 7.0 percent the previous quarter. Pernia pointed out that there is usually an economic slowdown in the 4th quarter of the year as compared to the three months before.

Among the best performing sectors in the fourth quarter are industry, which grew by 7.3 percent, followed by services, up 6.8 percent, and agriculture, which went up by 2.4 percent and rebounding from a 1.3 percent decline in the same quarter last year.

“For 2016 and 2017, economic growth has been strong and steady. Our hope for 2018 and in the medium term is to shift the trajectory upwards some more,” Pernia said.

He added that the Duterte administration’s big-ticket “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, which includes 75 “high-impact flagship projects” worth over P1.81 trillion, will continue its momentum of providing more opportunities for the country.

Pernia said the government is committed to make economic growth inclusive, which can be done with the help of the tax reform law.

“Even with a favorable growth outlook, we remain mindful that growth should be felt by every Filipino,” he said.

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