Palace cheers 4.6% GDP growth
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said the 4.6-percent growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter is something to “rejoice” about but the government still needs to shield the economy from the global financial crisis.
“We should rejoice, but not too much, [over] this very positive data. We will continue with our vigilance,” Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said in an interview with state-run Radyo ng Bayan from Los Angeles, California.
“These are welcome developments and I’m sure we can sustain this, but we should also not let our guard down because we are anticipating problems coming from other countries,” Dureza added.
At a news conference at the Palace, deputy presidential spokesman Anthony Golez said the contingency measures put in place by the government’s economic team would serve as the country’s “safety valves” against the global crisis.
Golez said the economy’s performance in the third quarter came at the high end of the government’s 3.8 to 4.6-percent forecast and beat analysts’ expectations. The growth also outpaced some of the Philippine’s neighbors in Southeast Asia.
The country’s third-quarter growth was slower than Indonesia’s 6.1 percent, but beat Thailand’s 4.1-percent expansion and showed the resilience of most economies in Southeast Asia, except Singapore, despite the worst financial crisis in decades.
Personal consumption grew a seasonally adjusted 2.0 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, the highest in at least 13 years, partly fuelled by dollars sent home by Filipino workers abroad to their families.
The government said growth in the fourth quarter was likely to be between 4.0-4.6 percent year-on-year, which means that growth could hit its lowest level since a 4.1-percent expansion in the third quarter of 2005. With a report from Reuters
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