Philippine economy posts 6.4% growth in 1st quarter

Socio-Economic Planning Sec. Arsenio Balisacan
The Philippine economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to a revised growth of 4.9 percent last year. 
Socio-economic Planning Sec. Arsenio Balisacan said the growth was driven by the services and industry sectors on the supply side and by net exports, household final consumption expenditure, and government consumption on the demand side.
The growth for the quarter was supported by accelerated government spending, low prices which supported household consumption, better-than-anticipated exports performance,  continued credit expansion, continued robustness of remittances, expansion in the tourism sector, increased business and consumer confidence, and an overall buoyant domestic economic outlook.
Romulo Virola, secretary-general of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said the first quarter growth also got a big boost from manufacturing which has recovered some grounds that got eroded during the third and fourth quarters last year.
On the demand side, the growth came mainly from net exports and the robust household spending.
“With compensation of our overseas workers on the rebound, the net primary Income (NPI) grew by 4 percent pushing the gross national product (GNP) to 5.8 percent from 3.5 percent in 2011,” Virola said.
With the growth of poultry, livestock, corn, and coconut including copra, the agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery sector posted a turnaround growth of 2.5 percent in the first quarter from two consecutive quarters of decline.
However, the industry slowed down to 2.2 percent growth from 3.3 percent in the previous quarter. But the services sector accelerated to 2.6 percent from 1.3 percent in the previous quarter as all its subsectors recorded positive growth.
With the projected population reaching 95.2 million, per capita GDP grew by 4.6 percent while per capita gross national income grew by 4 percent.
Sec.Balisacan said growth in the first quarter translated to an increase in employment of 1.101 million. Employment generation was more pronounced in services, followed by industry.
The continued strong inflows of remittances, robust inbound tourist receipts and low inflation environment contributed to significant increases in employment creation, particularly in the services sector, which fueled consumption.