Jan-Mar GDP growth expected to have eased to around 6.2%
MANILA -Private-sector economists and analysts broadly agree that the Philippine economy may have grown by 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2023 amid expectations of a global slowdown.
The median forecast is slower than the 7.1 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 (revised from 7.2 percent), and the 8 percent seen in the first quarter of last year.
The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee’s own assumption is that full-year growth in gross domestic product (GDP) will fall within the range of 6 percent to 7 percent in 2023.
The Marcos administration’s economic team expects a slower full-year growth after posting 7.6 percent in 2022, but faster than 5.7 percent in 2021.
The Philippine Statistics Authority and the National Economic and Development Authority are jointly releasing first-quarter data today.
Compared to the consensus forecast, The Netherlands-based ING Bank is looking higher at 6.5 percent.
“Growth will be supported by household consumption, although we note a slowing trend as elevated inflation saps some purchasing power,” ING Bank said.
The Dutch group said Philippine GDP growth should continue to slow down in the coming quarters as inflation remains high and the fallout from central bank policy rate hikes take hold.
Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, has a 6.1-percent forecast.
The American group attributes this to less sanguine manufacturing activities and lesser inflows of remittances from overseas Filipinos, which may have affected household spending.
“Goods exports declined much faster than imports, likely leading to a bigger external drag as well, although this was likely partially offset by rebounding tourism revenues,” Goldman Sachs said.
Meanwhile, Pantheon Macroeconomics is betting on a sharp slowdown to 4.8 percent.
“The volume of net sales in the Philippines in March fell outright year-over-year for the first time since early 2021, bolstering our view that [today’s] GDP report will disappoint massively,” said Miguel Chanco, chief economist on emerging Asian markets.