HONG KONG: The agriculture sector is expected to contribute to sustained Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of 2017, a reversal from the sector’s contraction in the last quarter of 2016.
“This quarter, you will see that agriculture will be exhibiting positive growth rate and that’s going to contribute to a better performance of the economy as a whole,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia said in a briefing here Friday.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, agriculture registered a 1.1 percent contraction, the only major sector that posted a negative growth.
Industry grew by 7.6 percent and Services by 7.4 percent.
With the government program to implement more infrastructure projects in the rural areas, economic managers are confident of higher contribution to domestic expansion of the rural areas in line with the goal to see more inclusive growth.
The government is set to report the first quarter 2017 growth output of the domestic economy on May 18 and Pernia said economic managers are optimistic.
“We are quite upbeat about what the GDP growth rate will be because of the uptick of the agriculture sector, exports, investments, as well as manufacturing,” he added.
Pernia earlier said a 7 percent growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is possible for the first three months of the year.
Growth in the last quarter of 2016 rose by 6.6 percent from 5.4 percent in the same period in 2015 while full-year growth went up to 6.9 percent, one of the highest in the region last year.