Manila, Philippines – Strong consumer spending and household consumption drove the Philippine economy to grow by 6.8% in the 1st quarter of the year, despite a slower agricultural output, higher inflation, and wider trade deficit.
National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales announced on Thursday, May 10, that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.8% from January to March 2018.
This is slightly higher than the 6.4% growth in the same period a year ago, and 6.5% in the last quarter of 2017.
This placed the country’s growth pace outside the government’s full-year target of 7% to 8%.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said that inflation was the “spoiler,” as he noted that GDP growth for the first quarter would have been within target if not for rising inflation.
The 1st quarter performance also showed the Philippines is still among the fastest-growing economies in Asia, after Vietnam’s 7.38%, and at par with China’s 6.8%.
The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) both expect the Philippines to remain among the fastest-growing economies in the region for 2018, with forecasts of 6.7% and 6.8% growth, respectively.