For the entire year, the country’s GDP grew an average of 5.8%, the Philippine Statistics Authority says
The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.3% in the last quarter of 2015, up from 6.0% in the 3rd quarter, the government announced Thursday, January 28.
This brought GDP growth for the entire 2015 to to 5.8%, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a press briefing. This means growth this year is lower than the 2014 growth of 6.1%.
Early this week, multilateral lender International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed the GDP growth of the Philippines to 5.7% instead of 6% for 2015 amid the slowdown in China and the normalization of interest rates in the US.
The Q4 growth was also higher than what some analysts had foreseen. Moody’s Analytics earlier said in its latest Asia-Pacific economic preview that the GDP growth for 4th quarter would be 5.9%.
Services up, industry and agriculture down
Growth in the 4th quarter was driven largely by the services sector, which accelerated to 7.4% from 5.6% in the previous year. Industry slowed to 6.8% from 9.1% and agriculture in particular contracted by 0.3%, the PSA said.
Services also served as the main avenue for growth for the whole of 2015, growing at 6.7% compared to the 5.9% last year.
In contrast, the industry and agricultural sectors both slowed from last year. Industry grew by 6.0% compared to the 7.9% seen last year and agriculture slowed to 0.2% from last year’s 1.6% growth
“You can see from the results that slower growth is due largely from agriculture. It actually contracted in the 4th quarter and compared to the others it gave the slowest growth for the year,” said National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales.
Outgoing Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan pointed out that developing the agricultural sector is a priority.
“The agricultural sector persists to be the biggest road block in our goal where attaining a higher and more inclusive growth both in the light of improving crop production and farmers’ income. There is an urgent need to rethink the development strategy for this sector, especially with the impact of El Niño and natural disasters that hound the country yearly,” he said. Read more