PSA: Growth slowed in 9 of 17 regions in 2018
MANILA, Philippines — Local economies of the country’s 17 regions all grew in 2018, even as more than half of them posted slower expansion amid a high inflation environment.
In a report Thursday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the following eight regions posted faster gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth in 2018: Bicol Region (8.9 percent), Mimaropa (8.6 percent), Central Visayas (7.6 percent), Calabarzon (7.3 percent), Northern Mindanao (7 percent), Ilocos Region (6.5 percent), Zamboanga Peninsula (6.3 percent), and Eastern Visayas (5.9 percent).
As for nine regions, their 2018 GRDP growth rates slowed compared to 2017, namely: Davao Region (8.6 percent), Cordillera Administrative Region or CAR (7.3 percent), Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM (7.2 percent), Central Luzon (7.1 percent), Soccsksargen (6.9 percent), Western Visayas (6.1 percent), National Capital Region or NCR (4.8 percent), Cagayan Valley (3.3 percent), and Caraga (3.2 percent).
In 2018, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.2 percent, a three-year low, as inflation hit a 10-year high of 5.2 percent.
The elevated headline inflation rate was mostly attributed to new or higher excise taxes slapped on consumption under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, skyrocketing global oil prices during the third quarter of last year, as well as food supply bottlenecks, especially of the Filipino staple rice.
Amid high prices in 2018, consumers held off spending while some businesses delayed expansion activities.
To temper inflation, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) hiked the policy rate by a total of 175 basis points last year to 4.75 percent, making it more expensive to borrow money.
PSA data showed that NCR accounted for 36 percent of the Philippine economy as of 2018, the biggest chunk among the country’s regions.
Calabarzon had a 17-percent share of the country’s GDP, while Central Luzon cornered 9.8 percent.
Of the country’s 6.2-percent GDP growth in 2018, NCR, Calabrzon, and Central Luzon also contributed the bulk—1.8 percentage points, 1.2 percentage points, and 0.7 percentage point, respectively.
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