Growth-sustaining measures pushed

November 12, 2018

The passage of still pending tax reform measures, addressing supply-related issues in agriculture and opening imports of agriculture inputs for manufacturing, are seen to sustain the robust growth of the Philippine economy.

In an economic bulletin released Friday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said other measures to avert an economic slowdown include sustaining the rapid growth of investment through additional Ease of Doing Business measures as well as enhancing competition by liberalizing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Finance Undersecretary and DOF economist Gil Beltran cited that FDIs in the first seven months of 2018 rose by 52 percent.

He explained that investments backed the economy since its share on the domestic output registered its highest level in the third quarter this year after it rose 26 percent compared to the 23.6 percent same period in 2017.

“This will sustain rapid economic growth over the medium term,” he said.

In the third quarter this year growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GPD), rose by 6.1 percent, slower than the 6.2 percent in the previous quarter and the 6.6 percent in the first quarter.

The lower output was traced to the elevated inflation rate that negatively affected household consumption, the -0.4 percent output of the agriculture sector, the slower growth of manufacturing due to drop in food manufacturing because of limited supply, the -4.6 percent growth of chemicals due to tight regulation, and the -21.4 percent output of tobacco and alcoholic beverages due to lower consumption after the tax hikes.

These factors are, however, countered by the 16.7 percent rise of investments, 16.1 percent increase of the construction sector, 6.9 percent rise of the services sector, and 14.3 percent rise of healthy exports.