Philippine Economy Expands More Than Expected In Q4

The Philippine economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the fourth quarter, underpinned by robust household spending and investment, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed on Thursday.

Gross domestic product grew 7.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter, faster than the 6.9 percent rise in the third quarter and the economists’ forecast of 6.2 percent.

On a quarterly basis, the economy grew 3.1 percent, better than the expected rate of 1.2 percent.

In the whole year of 2021, GDP advanced 5.6 percent, in contrast to the 9.6 percent contraction posted in 2020.

Among major economic sectors, industry and services registered positive annual growth of 8.2 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, agriculture, forestry, and fishing logged a contraction of -0.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

On the demand side, household final consumption expenditure grew 7.5 percent and government spending by 7.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Gross capital formation climbed 12.6 percent.

At the same time, exports and imports were up 8.3 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively.

The overall recovery has a long way to go, and the economy will remain in catch-up mode throughout 2022, Alex Holmes, an economist at Capital Economics, said. As such, monetary policy is set to remain loose.

Nicholas Mapa, an ING economist said growth dynamics suggest that a decent recovery is still possible, even more so with the elections in May likely to provide a boost to overall economic activity.

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