Philippines lowers 2020 economic growth rate to -9.6 percent


Posted at Apr 08 2021 12:08 PM | Updated as of Apr 08 2021 04:09 PM

Philippines lowers 2020 economic growth rate to -9.6 percent 1
Beneficiaries of the government cash aid line up at a covered court in Baseco Compound, Tondo Manila on April 7, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippine economy contracted by 9.6 percent instead of 9.5 percent in 2020, according to the revised estimates released by the Philippine Statistics Authority on Thursday.

Fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020 was kept at -8.3 percent, the PSA said in a statement. 

However, the PSA further lowered the second-quarter GDP growth rate to -17 percent from -16.9 percent. This was already the worst contraction since the end of World War 2, and had also already been lowered from -16.5 percent last year.

The following are the revised economic growth data for 2019 and 2020:

• 2019 Q1: 5.9 percent 
• 2019 Q2: 5.6 percent 
• 2019 Q3: 6.3 percent 
• 2019 Q4: 6.6 percent 

• 2020 Q1: -0.7 percent 
• 2020 Q2: -17.0 percent 
• 2020 Q3: -11.6 percent 
• 2020 Q4: -8.3 percent 

"Revisions on the estimates are based on the updated data submissions/releases by the data source agencies," the PSA said in a statement. 

Revisions are also based on policies consistent with international standard practices on national accounts revisions, it said.

The -9.6 percent contraction is the country's worst economic data since the end of World War 2. 

Economic activities were hindered by the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

The Philippines first imposed one of the world's toughest and longest COVID-19 lockdowns, which started in the island of Luzon in mid-March 2020. 

Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Bulacan are once again under enhanced community quarantine due to the recent surge in daily COVID-19 cases. 

Economic managers predicted that the 2021 first quarter economic growth would remain low as the pandemic drags on.

The Philippines recorded the worst contraction among major ASEAN economies last year. In contrast to the Philippines' -9.6 percent growth rate, Indonesia posted -2 percent GDP growth rate according to data from Reuters. Singapore meanwhile posted -5.4 percent growth, Thailand -6.1 percent, Malaysia -5.6 percent, while Vietnam defied the trend by posting a positive growth rate of 2.9 percent. 

-- with a report from Edson Guido, ABS-CBN Data Analytics


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