Philippine economic growth slows down in third quarter

Business Materials 27 November 2008 11:45 (UTC +04:00)

The Philippines' economic growth slowed down in the third quarter of 2008, expanding by only 4.6 per cent from 7.1 per cent a year ago, the government said Thursday.

The third quarter performance brought the average gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first nine months to 4.6 per cent, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

Gross national product, which includes income from abroad, including remittances of overseas Filipinos, expanded only 6.5 per cent in the July-September period from 9.1 per cent a year ago, reported dpa.

"The Philippine economy has been damaged but not quite ravaged by the global financial turmoil and high oil prices," said Romulo Virola, secretary general of the NSCB.

"The decent growth in GDP drew on the strong performances of manufacturing, construction and trade," he added.

Despite the slowdown, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said the Philippines was not expected to slip into recession due to the impact of the global economic slump.

"I don't believe the Philippines will get into a recession next year," he said.

Recto said he was confident that GDP would grow between 4 per cent and 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter.

Earlier in the month, government economic managers cut the growth forecast for this year and 2009 amid grim prospects of recession in some of the world's largest economies.

GDP in 2008 was forecast to grow only between 4.1 per cent and 4.8 per cent, down from the government's earlier target of 5.5 per cent to 6.4 per cent.

For next year, GDP growth was expected to average between 3.7 per cent and 4.7 per cent, from the previous forecast of 6.1 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

Last year, the Philippine economy grew a robust 7.2 per cent, its best performance in over three decades.