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PHL economy grows 3.2% in 3Q

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The Philippine economy grew by 3.2 percent in the third quarter of the year mainly because of the services sector, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board.

The NSCB said the services sector "saved" the domestic economy from posting an even lower growth.

The third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) is lower than the 7.3 percent growth in the third quarter of last year.

GDP is the total value of final goods and services produced in the country.

In the first nine months, the economy expanded by 3.6 percent from 8.2 percent in the same period last year.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga blamed the weak economic growth in the third quarter to the typhoons that caused losses and damages in the agriculture sector, the global economic slowdown amid uncertainties in Europe and weakness of the US economy.

Cayetano also said the contraction in the construction sector amid stricter project reviews for public construction projects contributed to the decline in GDP during the quarter.

"The services sector however continued to perform strongly on the back of sustained OF remittances, relatively more favorable inflation environment, and increased pace in government expenditures, as the services sector saw strong performances by the transportation, communication and storage; real estate, renting and business; public administration and defense; and education, tourism, and other services subsectors," Paderanga said.

The country’s third quarter economic performance was weaker relative to Indonesia’s 6.5 percent growth, Vietnam’s 6.1 percent, Singapore’s 6.1 percent, Malaysia’s 5.8 percent, and Thailand’s 3.5 percent.

Moreover, the third quarter growth performance was below the 4.6 percent consensus forecast of both international and domestic analysts, including NEDA’s forecast of 3.8 to 4.8 percent.

"Notwithstanding the third quarter’s moderate growth, there are indications of more favorable prospects for the fourth quarter of 2011. These include the anticipated higher demand on account of the Yuletide and harvest seasons; a more stable macro economy; a broadly steady consumer sentiment; the continued inflows of remittances from Filipinos overseas; the reported higher level of business confidence relative to the previous quarter; and the full implementation of the P72 billion disbursement acceleration program of the government," Paderanga said.

He also said that there was general expectation of robust consumption, continuing improved investments, and higher government consumption in the near term.

In addition, Paderanga said consumer sentiment would be more optimistic until 2012.

"The upbeat expectations of the private sector for the next quarter will particularly boost construction and durable equipment," he said.

By PNA




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