Gov't sees 6% to 7% growth in Q1
MANILA, Philippines - The country likely posted economic growth of 6% to 7% in the first quarter of 2013, in line with target, as strong remittances and election spending offset weak exports, the socioeconomic planning chief said Monday, March 25.
"So far the indicators are quite favorable. (There was a dip in) exports last January but I hope at the end of March the numbers are better," Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said on the sidelines of the launch of the Philippine Human Development report.
"But, otherwise, the inflow of remittances, other indicators, at the rate that the private sector has been releasing reports showing that their profits have increased, I think that's a good indication," he added.
For his part, former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told reporters that full-year growth would likely be 6% in 2013. This is because of base effects.
Diokno explained that after the 6.6% growth in 2012, the economy would experience high base effects, which could cause growth rates to be lower in 2013. He added that the country's average historical growth rate has remained at around 5%.
"It's base effect. Growth was strong last year, that's unusual. I think our long-term growth is only 5%. So everytime the economy growth is high, say 6%, that's unusual," Diokno said in Filipino.
He also said election spending would not be as robust as the previous election year. He explained that 2010 was a presidential election year and candidates spent significant sums on top of the government's investments in PCOS machines.
"The 2010 elections were costly because of computerization. The 3 (television) networks also invested in their tech (capabilities), that was expensive." - Rappler.com