MANILA — The Philippines posted its three-year low quarterly expansion in the first quarter of 2015 at 5.2 percent but Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima remains positive citing that growth was sustained at above five percent.
“Numbers fluctuate each quarter but they clearly show an unmistakable positive trajectory,” he said pointing out that “we are less concerned about the quarterly numbers game than getting the foundations of our growth right.”
Growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), slowed in the first three months of the year from quarter-ago’s downwardly revised 6.6 percent due to weaker exports and lower public spending.
The Finance chief, however, stressed that government efforts to increase expenditures, particularly on infrastructure, remain “to close the gap.”
“These are elements largely within our control; these are opportunities we intend to capitalize on in the next quarters,” he stressed.
Purisima said the first quarter domestic expansion this year is the 13th consecutive quarter of above five percent growth, with performance in the last five years backed by strong private sector.
He noted that consumption rose by 5.4 percent this quarter while capital formation and fixed capital formation at 11.8 and 10.1 percent, respectively.
“Private sector momentum reflects the increasing appetite to invest in the medium to long term growth of the country,” he said.
“Increased confidence in the Philippines is a clear result of President Aquino’s unwavering commitment to good governance is good economics,” he added.