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GDP growth exceeds expectations

Medium-rise office and residential condominium buildings at the Cebu Business Park withstand the destructive winds of Typhoon Odette, which battered Cebu on Dec. 16, 2021. (Ventures Cebu)

The economy exceeded forecasts by economists and the government as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021, bringing the full year growth to 5.6%.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Benjamin E. Diokno said these figures were higher than the median forecast of 6.5% for Q4 and 5.3% for full year 2021 made by 18 economists in a recent survey.

The BSP, for its part, estimated that the GDP could grow by 7.4% in Q4 and implied full-year growth of 5.6%.

“The actual 2021 GDP growth of 5.6% represents a sharp recovery from the 9.6% contraction in 2020, but lower than the 6.1% expansion in 2019. It exceeds the government’s revised forecast range of 5-5.5%, however,” Diokno said in a Twitter post.

In a press conference Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, the PSA said the main contributors to the GDP growth in Q4 were: manufacturing, 7.2%; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 7.4%; and construction, 18.5%.

The same industries also contributed the most to the annual growth: manufacturing, 8.6%; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 4.3%; and construction, 9.8%.

All three sector posted positive growths in Q4: agriculture, forestry, and fishing, 1.4%; industry, 9.5%; and services, 7.9%.

For the entire year, industry and services registered positive growths of 8.2% and 5.3%, respectively, while the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector posted a negative 0.3% growth.

On the demand side, the household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) grew by 7.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The following items also recorded growths: government final consumption expenditure, 7.4%; gross capital formation, 12.6%; exports, 8.3%; and imports, 13.7%.

On an annual basis, HFCE grew by 4.2%, GFCE by 7%, GCF by 19%, exports by 7.8% and imports by 12.9%. (MTVI/Ventures Cebu)

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