Neda chief sees higher 4th quarter growth
MANILA, Philippines–As the effects of Typhoon “Ruby” on the economy had been very minimal, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) sees higher economic growth in the fourth quarter to compensate for the disappointing third-quarter performance.
Neda Director-General and Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told reporters on Wednesday that the fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was “expected to be better” than the third quarter’s 5.3 percent.
The effect of “Ruby” on the agriculture sector was “very negligible,” only around 0.02-0.03 percent of GDP, Balisacan said, adding that the share of agriculture in the GDP was very small at only around 11 percent today.
The economy must grow by at least 6.6 percent during the October-to-December period to hit at least 6-percent full-year growth, while a higher 8.6-percent fourth-quarter expansion is needed to hit the lower end of the official government 2014 GDP goal of 6.5-7.5 percent.
Balisacan earlier said that the government remained hopeful of at least 6-7 percent GDP growth in 2014 as the government’s target has become “very challenging.”
“There are bright prospects to look forward to as the year ends. Our macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong. The latest business expectations outlook from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shows a more buoyant fourth quarter, with more firms optimistic about the country’s economic prospects. Export performance in 2014 has been notable, especially for high-value products, and this bodes well for the economy as a whole. The growing household consumption indicates greater consumer confidence, which could boost growth,” Balisacan said.
The manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors were expected to remain the growth drivers until the end of the year, the Neda chief said.
“For eight quarters now, since the second half of 2012, growth of the industry sector has outpaced that of the services sector. This is consistent with our strategy to promote the resurgence of industry and the manufacturing sub-sector, in particular.
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