MANILA, Philippines: Analysts and experts expected economic growth to slow down, but not as slow as this.
The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the 1st quarter of 2019 plunged to a 4-year low of 5.6%, said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday, May 9.
The 1st quarter growth is the lowest since the 5% recorded in the 1st quarter of 2015.
It is also lower than the revised 6.3% registered during the 4th quarter of 2018, and the 6.5% in the 1st quarter of 2018.
Economic growth from January to March was also below the government’s target of 6% to 7% for the year and below most analyst estimates.
Among major economic sectors, services registered the fastest growth at 7%. Agriculture and industry growth slowed down to 0.8% and 4.4%, respectively.
The GDP is an economic indicator which accounts for all the finished goods and services produced within the country in a specific period. (READ: The Philippine economy’s health under Duterte)
Economic managers earlier warned that the delayed passage of the 2019 national budget would hurt the country’s growth prospects. (READ: Budget deadlock: Who’s to blame?)
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia even went on to say the delay would “wreak havoc” on the economy.
“As we have forewarned repeatedly, the reenacted budget would sharply slow the pace of our economic growth. We estimate that we should have grown by as much as 6.6% this 1st quarter, if we were operating under the 2019 fiscal program,” Pernia said in a press briefing on Thursday.