The Philippine economy accelerated by 6.8 percent last year, the fastest pace since 2013, on the back of manufacturing, trade, and real estate activities as the main drivers of growth in the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter of 2016 saw the gross domestic product (GDP) pick up by 6.6 percent, moderating from 7 percent in the third quarter. It was enough to boost the full-year economy accelerate by 6.8 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday.
“Among the major economic sectors, Industry had the fastest growth at 7.6 percent, higher than previous year’s 6.5 percent growth,” National Statistician Lisa Grace S. Bersales said in a press conference on the 2016 national income accounts.
“Services decelerated by 7.4 percent compared with the 7.8 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2015. On the other hand, Agriculture declined further by 1.1 percent. In the same period of the previous year, it dropped by 0.2 percent,” Bersales noted.
Growth in 2016 was fastest in three years to top the 5.9 percent registered in 2015 and 6.2 percent in 2014.
It also settled within the 6.7 percent to 7 percent forecast range in a Manila Times poll of economists, and well within the government’s official 6 percent to 7 percent target range. MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO