Q2 growth seen near 6.4%

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 02 2012 06:56 AM | Updated as of Aug 02 2012 07:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine economy’s second quarter growth may be close to the 6.4-percent expansion recorded in the first quarter of the year, the country’s socioeconomic chief yesterday said.

“We’re hoping we get close to 6.4 percent in the second quarter,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said at the sidelines of the 2013 budget hearing at the House of Representatives.

He expressed hopes that the economy sustained the strong first quarter momentum.

For the whole year, Balisacan said growth may hit the higher end of the targeted five percent to six-percent official forecast range for 2012.

“Real GDP growth is projected to grow between five to six percent. The 6.4 percent growth in the first quarter gives us a sense that GDP growth (for the whole year) would hit the higher end of the range,” Balisacan said in his presentation.

He said growth would be driven by better labor and employment opportunities, strong dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos and the country’s growing retail sector among other sectors.

In his presentation, Balisacan also cited several bright spots in the economy which he said would help cushion the economy from global economic risks.

“The government has enough fiscal latitude.... Beyond government statistics, we have reinforcing indicators such as governance and competitiveness indicators, credit rating agencies, upbeat private sector, and high stock market indices,” he said.

In the first quarter of the year, GDP grew 6.4 percent, higher than the revised 4.9-percent growth in the same period last year. First quarter growth came from the strong performance of the services and industry sectors which grew 8.5 percent as 4.9 percent, respectively.