The Philippines registered an economic growth of 6.1 percent in the first half of 2012. The National Statistical Coordination Board said “the resilient services sector remained the main driver of growth, supported by sustained manufacturing growth and construction rebound.”
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) predicted that “we will be close to the upper end of the 5.0-6.0 percent range for the whole of 2012.” Storms and heavy rains that caused massive flooding in Manila and nearby provinces in recent months did not have an impact on the 2012 growth rate, and only a modest effect in agriculture, NEDA added. Accelerated government spending on infrastructure as well as low inflation, improved exports, rising tourist arrivals, and remittances of over 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers, all helped the economy grow.
Worldwide, there is a bullish outlook on the Philippine economy. The New York Times, in an article, “A Youthful Populace Helps Make the Philippines an Economic Bright Spot in Asia,” cited a young, growing population and improvements in governance and efficiencies as forces driving Philippine economic growth. “High population growth rate is now often seen as driving force for economic growth. About 61 percent of Philippine population is of working age, between 15 and 65. That figure is expected to continue increasing, which is not the case for many of its Asian neighbours, whose populations are aging,” it said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it expects the Philippine economy to perform better this year and the next, mainly on increased government spending and infrastructure investments. Deutsche Bank AG recently cited the Philippines as the strongest-performing economy in Asia because of the country’s improved exports reaching $26.8 million in the first half of 2012, up 7.68 percent from $24.8 million in the same period in 2011. The Grant Thornton International Business Report for the 1st quarter of 2012 showed that business optimism in the Philippines is high, noting that it has the 4th “most optimistic” community of business leaders worldwide.
We wish the Philippine government, headed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and vice President Jejomar C. Binay, National Economic and Development Authority director-General Arsenio M. Balisacan, National Statistical and Coordination Board Secretary-General Romulo A. Virola, and National Statistics Office Administrator Carmelita N. Ericta, all the best and success in their cooperation to provide impetus to socio-economic growth.