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TMCNet:  PH growth exceeds expectations

[January 31, 2013]

PH growth exceeds expectations

Feb 01, 2013 (The Manila Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The economy exceeded market and government expectations in 2012 to post a stellar 6.6-percent growth, making it one of the best performing economies in Asia.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) on Thursday said that the 6.8-percent growth in the last quarter of 2012 boosted the annual growth expansion.

"The increase was fuelled by the robust performance of the services sector led by trade and real estate, renting and business activities as well as the substantial improvements of manufacturing and construction," NSCB Secretary General Jose Ramon Albert said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that the 2012 growth surpassed the target of 5 percent to 6 percent.

"And now that we have surpassed the target, more than anything, we should really thank the private sector and the general public for trusting us to the point that they were willing to increase their stakes in our economy," NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said.

He added that all sectors of the economy performed beyond expectations, led by industry, services and agriculture.

Balisacan, also the Socioeconomic Planning secretary, said that industry grew by an impressive 6.5 percent, over twice the growth exhibited in 2011 at 2.3 percent. He attributed this to a booming construction and expansion in the electricity, gas and water sector. The service sector also defied expectations, growing at 7.4 percent mainly contributed by trade, transport and communication and real estate, renting and business activities and other services.

The NEDA chief said that trade grew by 7.5 percent in 2012, over twice the growth in 2011.

"Similarly, growth in transport and communication accelerated more than twice, at 9.1 percent compared to 4.3 the previous year," he added.

Despite the expected slow down in real estate, renting and business activities, these sectors managed to post a surprising growth of close to 8 percent.

Tourism-related subsectors, such as hotels and restaurants, recreational, cultural and sporting activities also grew by 13.3 percent, compared to only 7.1 percent in 2011.

Balisacan said that even the agriculture sector defied expectations, growing by 2.7 percent.

Fishery output also went up by 3.3 percent.

Household consumption was the largest contributor to growth in 2012, growing by 6.1 percent.

"This growth has been supported by the higher level of economic activity, low and stable inflation, inflows of overseas Filipinos' remittances and government transfers mainly through the conditional cash transfers or the CCT," he said.

Fruit of good governance Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that the economic expansion in 2012 "is a resounding affirmation of the Aquino administration's fiscal strategy, backed by robust macroeconomic fundamentals and the principles of good governance." Abad said that public construction also climbed by 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter and registered a 32.4-percent growth in 2012, while private construction expanded impressively from 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to a whopping 23.3 percent in the same period.

"Last year's growth ushers us into a very upbeat 2013, and we are determined to sustain--perhaps even exceed--the progress we've so far made, so that the benefits of good governance will manifest in direct, immediate and sustainable benefits for all Filipinos," he said.

With a report from Raadee S. Sausa ___ (c)2013 The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) Visit The Manila Times (Manila, Philippines) at www.manilatimes.net Distributed by MCT Information Services

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