RECENT economic data indicates the Philippine economy likely expanded by 6.2 percent in the second quarter, with industrial production and trade rebounding after natural disasters hampered growth in the prior months, Moody’s Analytics said.
“The Philippine economy rebounded in the second quarter after GDP [gross domestic product]growth slowed in the previous two quarters during and following last year’s typhoon,” the analytical firm said in its Asia Pacific Preview report released on Friday.
Moody’s Analytics is referring to the slower pace of growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014 at 6.5 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, due to the impact of the natural disasters that hit the country last year.
“High-frequency economic data have all been pointing in the right direction. Industrial production is growing in the double digits again, and exports and imports have improved,” it stated.
Moody’s Analytics is a division of Moody’s Corp. and provides expertise in economic and consumer credit analysis, credit research and risk measurement, enterprise risk management and structured analytics and valuation.
The latest government data showed that manufacturing output in the Philippines expanded in volume and value terms as of the end of the second quarter.
In the latest results of the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries, the Volume of Production index recorded year-on-year growth of 13.3 percent in June, boosted largely by the continued surge in production in the printing industry. In terms of value, as measured by the Value of Production Index, growth in manufacturing output reached 10.1 percent, stepping up from a rise of 0.8 percent previously.
At the same time, exports surged by 21.3 percent in June to $5.444 billion. In the six months to June this year, total merchandise exports grew 8.3 percent to $29.809 billion.
Meanwhile, cumulative imports for the first five months amounted to $26.336 billion, up 5.9 percent compared with $24.862 billion in the same period of last year.
Despite this, the analytical firm’s latest forecast was significantly lower than the 7.6 percent growth recorded in the second quarter of 2013.
Moody’s Analytics also expects GDP growth will be slightly below trend but noted that reconstruction work could push the economy toward trend in the second half.
In its earlier projection, the firm has said that Philippine GDP growth for 2014 may settle at 5.8 percent, way below its earlier forecast for the year of 6.5 percent and the government’s targeted growth range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for the year.
Taking an even more upbeat view than Moody’s, the government earlier this week said the economy likely got back on target in the second quarter of the year with 7 percent GDP growth after veering off the desired range in the first three months.