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PHL GDP expands

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The Philippine economy grew by 3.7 percent last year, boosted by the increased government spending and services sector, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

"The catch up government spending in the last quarter and the resilience of the services sector helped cushion the impact of the slowdown in the Eurozone, the creeping economic recovery of the US and the typhoons towards the end of the year," Romulo A. Virola, NSCB secretary general said.
In 2010, the economy expanded by 7.6 percent.

In the fourth quarter alone, the economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew by 3.7 percent from 6.1 percent in the same quarter in 2010.

The fourth-quarter figure was within the National Economic and Development Authority's forecast of between 3.6 percent and 4 percent.

The country's gross national income (GNI) grew by 2.6 percent last year from 8.2 percent in 2010.

The seasonally adjusted GDP grew by 0.9 percent slightly better than 0.8 percent in the previous quarter while the seasonally adjusted GNI accelerated to 1.7 percent from 0.9 percent growth in the third quarter.

The agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing sector continues to face strong headwinds, declining anew by 1.2 percent from 3.7 percent in the previous quarter largely due to the contraction of palay, fishing, other crops and corn.

On the other hand, industry accelerated to 1.9 percent growth from 1.4 percent in the previous quarter due to the expansion of construction and manufacturing.

Services sector, however, decelerated to 0.7 percent from 1.4 percent caused by the slow paced growth of all subsectors except for public administration and defense and transportation, storage and communication.

On the demand side, growth of consumer spending doubled up to 6.1 percent during the year from 3.4 percent, but was not enough buffer for the decline in global trade and the moderated investments in fixed capital formation.

In the fourth quarter, the sustained household consumption with 6.7 percent growth and the huge recovery of construction at 11.4 percent were partly negated by the continued drop in exports and the reduced addition to inventory.

NEDA Secretary Cayetano Paderanga expressed optimism that the acceleration of public expenditures would continue well into 2012 and beyond.

"The hard work of reforming government processes and plugging expenditure leaks has been done. We can now spend every taxpayer peso with full efficiency and high impact on the economy," he said.

Cayetano said substantial acceleration of disbursements, including those for infrastructure and capital outlay, was expected in the coming months.

He said the economy this year would also be boosted by the strong investments from both public and private sectors despite the global economic uncertainties.

"Public construction will significantly contribute to growth in 2012," he noted.

By PNA




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