The economy likely grew faster in the second quarter given robust exports, government spending and farm sector gains, a senior Finance department official said.
“We think the numbers are better. It is possible that it has even breached 7 percent to 7.2 percent,” Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran told reporters in an interview.
First quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was a slower than expected 6.4 percent. A year earlier, second quarter growth was 7 percent.
The government is targeting 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth for 2017. GDP growth last year was 6.9 percent, near the top end of the 6 to 7 percent goal.
Official second quarter GDP data is scheduled for release by the Philippine Statistics Authority tomorrow.
“The second-quarter GDP will be better than the first quarter… [it]will be a lot better because exports for the first half is 13.6 percent up, last year it was negative 3.5 percent,” Beltran said.
“Government spending is up 5.6 percent in the second quarter. In first quarter, it was 4 percent, and that is the main reason why our growth rate dropped below 7 percent,” he added.
Beltran also cited the contribution of the agriculture sector, which grew by 6.18 percent in the second quarter.
“It is because of the absence of weather disturbance, whether its an El Niño or storms,” he said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia last week expressed confidence that the economy picked up in the second quarter, with 7 percent “still possible.”
Analysts polled by The Manila Times, meanwhile, have offered GDP growth estimates ranging from 5.8 percent to 6.8 percent, with an average of 6.4 percent, with mixed views on factors such as exports and consumption.