The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) believes that the performance of the Philippine economy in the last quarter of 2014 will be better than
the growth recorded in the third quarter despite the damages to agriculture brought by Tropical Depression Ruby.
“Our numbers show fourth quarter growth will be better than the third quarter,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a year-end press briefing on Wednesday.
GDP for third quarter slowed to 5.3 percent, bringing the year-to-date growth to 5.8 percent.
“For the first three quarters of this year, the economy grew at an average of 5.8 percent.
While this falls below our target of at least 6.5 percent, the Philippine economy remains among the brightest spots in the region,” Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director genera said.
The NEDA chief also said that the drag from Ruby’s damage to agriculture will not be felt in the current quarter.
Initial government estimates said damage caused by Ruby to agriculture and infrastructure has reached about P2 billion, while the number of affected people was placed at 2.3 million.
“Based on our initial estimate, the cost of the typhoon’s damage to agriculture could not have been negatively affected the economy, for the reason that the share of agriculture in
GDP is quite small compared to other sectors,” he said.
Balisacan further said that there are still bright prospects to look forward to as the year ends, since the macroeconomic fundamentals of the Philippines remain strong.
“The latest business expectations outlook from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shows a more buoyant fourth quarter, with more firms optimistic about the country’s economic prospects,” he said.
The NEDA chief added that exports performance in 2014 has been notable, especially for high-value products, and this bodes well for the economy as a whole.
He added that the growing household consumption indicates greater consumer confidence, which could boost growth.
“For eight quarters now, since the second half of 2012, growth of the industry sector has outpaced that of the services sector. This is consistent with our strategy to promote the resurgence of industry and the manufacturing sub-sector, in particular,” he said.
In addition, Balisacan said the services sector continues to be robust, especially the Information Technology-Business Process Management, while tourism sub-sectors have recovered from the temporary setback brought about by the natural calamities that hit the country late last year.
“The target of 6.8 million international tourist arrivals for 2014 will likely be met,” he concluded.