Philippines Q1 GDP Growth Matches Estimates
The Philippines economy grew an annual 6.8 percent year-on-year in the March quarter of 2018, following a downwardly revised 6.5 percent expansion in the previous quarter and matching market consensus. Both investment and government spending rose faster while private consumption and exports continued to increase.
In the three months to March, gross domestic capital formation increased by 12.5 percent, accelerating from a 8.3 percent growth in the previous quarter. Investment in intellectual property products grew by 12.7 percent, followed by durable equipment (10.1 percent); construction (8.9 percent), and breeding stocks & orchard development (4.2 percent).
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Government expenditure rose 13.6 percent, faster than a 12.2 percent growth in the December quarter. Meantime, household consumption expanded 5.6 percent year-on-year, compared to a 6.2 percent increase in the fourth quarter.
Exports increased by 6.2 percent, following a 20.6 percent rise in the fourth quarter. Sales of goods rose 2.9 percent (from 12.2 percent in the fourth quarter) and those of services went up 17.9 percent (from 14.5 percent). Imports rose by 9.3 percent, following a 18.1 percent rise in the preceding quarter.
On the production side, the services sector advanced 7.0 percent, compared to a 6.9 percent growth in the three months to December. Growth in the sector was supported by public administration & defense, compulsory social security (13.2 percent); other services (8.8 percent); financial intermediation (7.6 percent), and transport, storage & communication (6.4 percent);trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods (6.1 percent), and real estate (4.7 percent). The industry sector expanded 7.9 percent, following a 7.0 percent growth in the preceding quarter. Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing rose 15 percent following a 2.4 percent expansion in the previous period. Construction grew (9.3 percent), followed by manufacturing grew (8 percent), and electricity, gas and water supply (6 percent). Mining & quarrying went up by 4.5 percent, following a 5.4 percent rise in the December quarter.
The Philippines has a 7.0-8.0 percent growth target in this year. Over the next 6 years, the government is targeting GDP growth within a 7 percent to 8 percent range annually.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the GDP advanced 1.5 percent, the same pace as in the December quarter and below market consensus of 1.8 percent.