Higher farm output may have ramped up growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter beyond 7 percent, surpassing the expansion recorded in the second quarter and the year-earlier period, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that agricultural production posted a 2.98 percent increase in the third quarter, with increments recorded in crops, livestock and poultry.
“It bounced back from negative to positive. That is really good. And also, exports are up, so maybe we will hit more than 7 percent [GDP] in the third quarter,” NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of the Senate interpellation on the 2017 national budget held on Tuesday.
Besides the agriculture sector’s improved output, the services and industry sectors also made major growth contributions to the economy during the three-month period, Pernia, who is also the country’s Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, said.
Going forward, he said the fourth quarter will continue to show farm output on the positive growth track, which should further bolster full-year growth.
The official third-quarter GDP data is slated for release by the PSA this Thursday.
Private analysts earlier said economic growth likely accelerated in the third quarter of 2016 compared with a year earlier due to more robust domestic demand, but they noted a slowdown compared with the previous quarter as the impact of the May election-related spending faded.
Analysts polled by The Manila Times estimated GDP growth at between 6 percent and 6.9 percent in the July-September quarter, gaining pace from 5.9 percent a year earlier. However, growth slowed from the second quarter of the year, when it expanded by 7 percent, they said.
The government has set a GDP growth target for full-year 2016 in the 6 percent to 7 percent range, compared with the actual 5.8 percent recorded for the whole of 2015.