Growth likely to be sustained in Q1

By Kathleen A. Martin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 14 2014 08:02 AM | Updated as of Apr 14 2014 08:07 PM

Most indicators show economy remains robust – BSP

MANILA, Philippines - The robust economic growth achieved by the country is expected to be sustained in the first quarter, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said the recent demand indicators as well as the Puchasing Managers’ Index, which indicates the situation of the manufacturing sector, have been pointing to continued growth of the economy.

“Output expansion is expected to be sustained over the coming quarters,” Tetangco said.

The economy has grown by 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the eighth consecutive quarter the country recorded an above six-percent expansion.

This brought last year’s growth to 7.2 percent, surpassing the government’s target of a six to seven percent growth rate.

The first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data will be released by the government in the last week of May.

But as early as last week, Tetangco said economic performance continued to be strong.

“Higher-frequency indicators of demand, including vehicle sales, energy sales, and manufacturing output based on the NSO’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries are still growing robustly,” Tetangco said.

Moreover, Tetangco said: “The Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) of the manufacturing, services and retail/wholesale sectors have also continued to point to expansion.”

The PMI, which when above 50 means expansion, is an important indicator of economic activity.

Manufacturing PMI went up to 55 in January from 50.1 in December, while the services PMI climbed to 60.1 from 56.4, Tetangco said. The retailers and wholesalers PMI also increased to 55.2 from 51.4.

The government hopes to grow the economy by 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year, sustaining the 7.2-percent expansion in 2013 and the 6.8-percent growth in 2012.