All signs point to PH growth in Q2By Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The mix of indicators used to forecast economic developments points to sustained growth for the Philippines in the second quarter of 2012, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said in a report released Thursday.
After a decline in the third quarter of 2011, the composite leading economic indicators, or LEIs, accelerated over the next three consecutive quarters, strongly indicating a continuation of the positive outlook for the country’s economy, NSCB said.
The NSCB said in a report posted on its website that the LEIs grew 0.125 in the second quarter of the year from a revised 0.064 in the first quarter.
NSCB Secretary General Romulo A. Virola said growth in LEIs hinted at better prospects for business and, thus, economic expansion.
Of the 11 indicators that make up the composite LEI, seven contributed positively in the second quarter of 2012.
The positive contributors include visitor arrivals, number of new businesses, stock price index, money supply, wholesale price index, hotel occupancy rate, and terms of trade index.
On the other hand, the negative contributors were consumer price index, foreign exchange rate, total merchandise imports, and electric energy consumption.
The positive contributors collectively account for 78.9 percent of the total, while those in the negative held the remaining 21.1 percent.
The LEI System, or LEIS, was developed by the NSCB and the National Economic and Development Authority to serve as basis for short-term forecasting of macroeconomic activity in the country.
Benjamin E. Diokno of the UP School of Economics said that “in today’s highly volatile world and increasingly heavy headwinds, I don’t give LEIs much weight.”
However, Cid L. Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific said LEIs had been “fairly successful” in tracking the country’s growth prospects.
“They are a product of a tedious and rigorous statistical process. Also, individual economic indicators support the possibility of growth in the months to come,” Terosa said.
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