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Economic growth seen at 7%

/ 05:25 AM August 02, 2017

The economy will likely grow by 7 percent this year on expectations of a sustained recovery in the agriculture sector and strong growth in the industry and services sectors, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

Pernia told the House appropriations committee that the country remained on track in meeting the midrange of its full-year target of 6.5-7.5 percent gross domestic product growth for 2017.

For the GDP to expand by about 7 percent this year, quarterly growth of 7.2 percent must be posted in the second to fourth quarters following the 6.4-percent rise in the first quarter.

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The government will announce the second-quarter GDP growth figure on Aug. 17.

“On the supply side, the rebound of the agriculture sector in the first quarter was a welcome respite after several quarters of decline. Overall, the services sector continued to be the main driver of economic growth. The industry sector remains brisk, boosted by manufacturing and private construction,” said Pernia, who heads state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority.

As for the expenditure side, he said domestic demand remained strong in the first quarter of the year, although both consumption and investment decelerated from the previous quarter, he said.
“The moderation in household consumption was expected, as the effect of election-related spending dissipates,” he added.

Investment, however, was tempered by the slower growth in public construction.

For next year until 2022, the annual GDP growth rates were projected to hit and stabilize at 7-8 percent. —Ben O. de Vera

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