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Government revises Q3 growth, seen to miss 2019 target

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday, January 22, revised the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the third quarter of 2019 down to 6% from the previously reported 6.2%.

This means that the economy would need a GDP growth of at least 6.9% in the fourth quarter for the government to meet the low end of its target, which was revised to 6% to 6.5%, for 2019.

The economy has been slowing down under the Duterte administration, with growth rates decreasing from 6.8% in 2016 to 6.7% in 2017 and 6.2% in 2018.

In a statement ahead of its announcement of the fourth quarter GDP results, the PSA said the major contributors to the revision were:

  • Other Services, revised to 4.2% from 5.1%;

  • Construction, down to 15.4% from 16.3%; and

  • Transport, Storage and Communication, 8.2% from 9.1%

Net Primary Income (NPI) from the rest of the world and Gross National Income (GNI) recorded upward revisions to 3.9% from 2.9% and 5.7% from 5.6%, respectively.

“The PSA revises the GDP estimates based on an approved revision policy (PSA Board Resolution No. 1, Series of 2017-053) which is consistent with international standard practices on national accounts revisions,” the agency stated.

The government also fell short of its GDP growth target in the first and second quarters of the year as the economy grew only by 5.6% and 5.5%, respectively.

The GDP growth target for 2019 was revised in December to 6% to 6.5% from the original target band of 6% to 7%.

Related story: Government trims growth target, seeks to lower poverty rate

The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) adjusted the GDP growth target after revisiting its macroeconomic assumptions on December 11, 2019.

“For the year, we’re actually proposing a tighter band because we already have the first-quarter to third-quarter numbers—if we say it’s 6-7 percent, then it’s no longer credible given that we already have the first three quarters,” National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon was quoted as saying.

For 2020, the growth target remains at 6.5% to 7.5%. For 2021 and 2022, the target range has been downscaled to the 2020 level of 6.5% to 7.5% from the original goal of 7% to 8%. (Ventures Cebu)

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