PH economy shrinks by 4.2%


The Philippine economy stayed in recession in the first quarter of the year as the gross domestic product (GDP) slid by 4.2 percent.


The reported GDP figure by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday compares with the 8.3 percent and 0.7 percent contractions a quarter and a month earlier.


The January-March figure was way below the 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent official government growth target for the year.


In a statement, National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the main contributors to the GDP drop were: construction, -24.2 percent; other services, -38.0 percent; and real estate and ownership of dwellings, -13.2 percent.


Meanwhile, contributors to expansion were led by: financial and insurance activities, 5.2 percent; public administration and defense; compulsory social activities, 7.5 percent; and human health and social work activities, 11.7 percent.


“Other industries which managed to grow during the period were: Information and communication, 6.3 percent; manufacturing, 0.5 percent; and electricity, steam, water, and waste management, 1.9 percent,” Mapa added.


Among the major economic sectors, agriculture, forestry, and fishing eased by -1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021. Services and industry also fell by -4.4 percent and -4.7 percent, respectively during the period.


On the demand side, household final consumption expenditure inched up by -4.8 percent, along with the following items: gross capital formation, -18.3 percent; exports, -9.0 percent; and imports, -8.3 percent.


Government final consumption expenditure, on the other hand, grew by 16.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021.


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