MANILA – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. is optimistic the Philippine economy will continue to grow in the medium term following its 6.5 percent expansion in the second quarter of 2017.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday reported faster domestic expansion, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), in April to June this year from the 6.4 percent growth in the previous three months.
Growth for the quarter was driven by the manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting and business activities.
Year-ago GDP, however, was higher at 7.1 percent.
The latest GDP level resulted in a 6.4 percent output in the first half of the year, near the lower end of the government’s 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth target for the year.
Espenilla, in a message to reporters Thursday, said domestic output in the second quarter this year “confirms our view that the Philippine economic expansion remains robust.’
“The agricultural sector rebounded while industry, particularly manufacturing, recorded strong growth,” he said.
PSA data show that the agriculture sector rebounded and grew by 6.3 percent in the second quarter this year from two percent decline a year ago.
Industry rose by 7.3 percent, the fastest among the sectors.
Domestic expansion in the second quarter this year, Espenilla said, “is in line with the BSP’s expectations and is consistent with the within-target inflation forecast for this year.”
The central bank expects robust domestic growth to continue but does not expect this growth to bring in inflationary pressures.
In the first seven months of the year, rate of price increases averaged at 3.1 percent, slightly above the mid-point of the government’s two to four percent goal for 2017 to 2020.
“The firm economic momentum during the first half of the year alongside favorable business and consumer sentiment should augur well for the expansion of the economy over the near to medium term,” Espenilla said.
“The BSP will continue to closely monitor economic and financial developments and stands ready to adopt policies to achieve its mandate of preserving price and financial stability,” he added. (PNA)