MANILA, Philippines – The country likely sustained its pace of growth in the third quarter, raising its chances of breaching its 6% to 7% full-year target, according to Socioeconomic Planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
“For the third quarter, I’m crossing my fingers. For the whole year, we can hit 7% [growth] or even better,” Balisacan, who is also director-general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), said.
He added there were no significant factors that could have dampened the country’s economic expansion.
Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.6% in the first half of 2013. In the first quarter, GDP growth stood at 7.7%, and in the second quarter, it was 7.5%.
In a separate interview, NEDA deputy director general Emmanuel Esguerra said the composite leading economic indicator (LEI) also points to robust growth for the remainder of 2013.
An indicator of overall economic performance, the LEI takes into account 11 factors: money supply, wholesale price index, merchandise imports, hotel occupancy rate, terms of trade index, electric consumption, number of new businesses, stock price index, exchange rate, visitor arrivals, and consumer price index.
The LEI continued its upward trend for the fourth quarter, according to data published by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) in October.
“This acceleration indicates the continued satisfactory performance of the country’s economy until the end of the year,” the NSCB said.
The NSCB will release third-quarter GDP data on November 28. – Rappler.com
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