CEBU CITY: The Central Visayas’ gross regional domestic product (GRDP) this year is expected to surpass the 8.8-percent growth posted in 2014, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 7 Director Efren Carreon said.
Even as official government data on the GRDP for this year will be published in mid-2016, Carreon said 2015 was a banner year for certain sectors like tourism, retail, and business process outsourcing.
Cebu’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) senior ministerial meetings, attended by some 3,600 foreign delegates, boosted the local economy.
Tourist arrivals in Central Visayas in the first eight months of this year reached 2.8 million, 43 percent up from the same period in 2014.
Of the figure, Cebu welcomed some two million tourists, while the rest were shared by Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.
Carreon said Cebu was one “blessed” province, without any major catastrophes that took place unlike in 2013.
Recovery continues in northern Cebu, in the 15 towns and one city struck by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, he added.
Carreon said construction in the region showed a 9 percent decline, although private players such as the Subdivision and Housing Developers’ Association Cebu chapter believe the sector remained vibrant this year.
“Generally, it was a good year for Cebu, better than it was last year. Hopefully, we can achieve 9-percent growth this year,” Carreon said.
Average inflation in the first three quarters of 2015 stood at 2 percent, way below the 5.2-percent inflation recorded during the same period in 2014, he said.