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Philippines posts 7.6% economic growth in 2022 amid soaring prices

Updated: Jan 28

View from a hotel in Mandaue Reclamation Area (Photo by IDC)

The Philippine economy grew 7.2% in the last quarter of 2022, bringing the full-year growth to 7.6% largely because of revenge and holiday spending despite soaring consumer prices.

This made the Philippine economy the third strongest performer among seven Southeast Asian countries, BPI lead economist Emilio S. Neri, Jr. said. The Philippines followed Malaysia, which grew 9.3% in the first three quarters, and Vietnam, which reported a full-year growth of 8% to rebound from the historic slump caused by the Covid pandemic.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the 7.6% growth rate surpassed the government's target of 6.5% to 7.5% in 2022.

He was confident the Philippines would remain on a high growth trajectory.

Balisacan said the economy's robust performance in the fourth quarter reflected strong domestic demand. He noted the following:

  • There were more jobs (unemployment decreased to 4.2% in November 2022 from 6.5% a year ago).

  • Consumers went on revenge and holiday spending.

  • Tourism activities increased.

  • Face-to-face classes have resumed.

"The growth in domestic demand was met by expansion in the services and industry sectors, with production in most subsectors back to their pre-pandemic levels. Services growth was mainly driven by wholesale and retail trade, while the expansion of manufacturing and construction subsectors supported industry growth," he said.

Agricultural output, however, declined and inflation soared to 8.1% in December 2022, the highest since November 2008.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2022 and full-year growth increased to 7.6%

The main contributors to the fourth quarter 2022 growth were: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 8.7%; financial and insurance activities, 9.8%; and manufacturing, 4.2%.

For the entire year 2022, the major contributors were: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 8.7%; manufacturing, 5%; and construction, 12.7%.

Among the major economic sectors, Industry and Services posted positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2022 of 4.8% and 9.8%, respectively, while Agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) posted negative growth of -0.3%. On an annual basis, AFF, Industry, and Services all posted positive growth of 0.5%, 6.7%, and 9.2%, respectively. (Marites Villamor-Ilano)

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