PH economy expands 5.7% in Q1

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  • The Philippine economy expanded 5.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024
  • The growth is slower than the 6.4% increase recorded year-on-year but faster than 5.5% in the fourth quarter of last year
  • The main contributors to growth were financial and insurance activities, which jumped 10%; wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 6.4%; and manufacturing, 4.5%
  • All major economic sectors, namely agriculture, forestry, and fishing; industry; and services posted year-on-year growths in the first quarter

The Philippine economy expanded 5.7% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The growth is slower than the 6.4% increase recorded year-on-year but faster than the 5.5% posted in the fourth quarter of last year.

The main contributors to growth were financial and insurance activities, which jumped 10%; wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, up 6.4%; and manufacturing, up 4.5%.

All major economic sectors, namely agriculture, forestry, and fishing; industry; and services, posted year-on-year growths in the first quarter.

Despite the damage caused by El Niño, the agriculture sector managed to record growth albeit at a slower pace of 0.4%.

The industry sector, driven by growth in manufacturing and higher output of food, electronics, and chemical products, saw a 5.1% rise.

The services sector grew 6.9%, supported by the continued recovery of tourism-related activities.

The net exports sector rebounded to a 9.5% growth in the first quarter from an 11.8% decline in the same quarter last year. The primary driver of the improvement in merchandise exports was the recovery in exports of electronic products. In contrast, merchandise imports remained muted due to a decline in imports of transport equipment.

The growth in domestic demand, meanwhile, saw moderate increase, reflecting the less favorable business sentiment.

Construction slowed down to 7% with its growth affected by prolonged periods of extreme heat. Household spending also slowed due to elevated prices of major food items and the heat wave.

Government spending also slowed down, primarily due to the sliding of a large amount of expenditure to April this year, whereas the government made such spending in March last year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the country’s first-quarter gross domestic product performance is similar to Vietnam’s 5.7% growth and surpassed other major economies such as China at 5.3%, Indonesia at 5.1%, and Malaysia at 3.9%. It is, however, slower than India’s projected growth rate of 6.2%.

Despite various risks and challenges, Balisacan said the economic outlook for the Philippines in the near and medium term “remains bright.”

“With hard work and the right policies in place, we are confident that we will achieve our growth target of 6% to 7% this year,” Balisacan said.