The Philippine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 from 6.4 percent the previous year despite global economic crisis, government officials said Thursday.
Secretary Ralph Recto, director general of the National Economic Development Authority said in a press conference that the resilience of the country’s services bolstered the economy’s expansion to 4.5 percent though it was lower than the growth gained in the same period last year.
“Our major growth divers for this quarter are trade, agriculture, fishery, manufacturing and construction services. They all contributed to the growth of our GDP by 4.5 percent while this was 1.9 percent lower than the growth posted in the same period of 2007,” he said.
The country’s Gross National Product (GNP) was able to rise by 6.4 percent from last year’s 6.0 percent due to the continuous and strong inflows of remittances from the overseas Filipino workers.
“Total overseas Filipino remittances grew by 6.6 percent for the period October to November 2008, which mainly caused the 27.9 percent growth in net factor income from abroad,” Recto added.
In terms of growth rate by sector, AFF and Services decreased- AFF has a 2.8 percentage from 5. 7 percent and Services obtained a 4.9 percentage from 7.8 percent while Industry increased from 4.9 percent to 5.0 percent; all figures shown in a data presentation.
On the expenditure side, consumer spending reported a lower growth of 4.5 percent from 6.2 percent a year ago.
The government consumption rises to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent due to the efforts made in augmenting the earnings of the government employees, said Romulo Virola, secretary general of the National Statistical Coordination Board.
Amid the economic crisis, Recto is positive that the Philippine’s economy would remain resilient and well-prepared for the eventual economic rebound.
“If there’s a big slowdown, there is also a big recovery… Once the problem has been solved, there is a bigger chance to rebound,” he said.
Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) meanwhile assumes a 3.4 percent to 4.7 percent growth rate to achieve this year.