Philippines' economic slump in Q1 2020 worse than thought

The Philippine economy contracted deeper than initially announced amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday, August 5, revised the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the 1st quarter of 2020 to -0.7% from the initially reported -0.2%.

Gross national income or the total amount of money earned by a nation's people and businesses was also changed from -0.6% to -1.2%.

The last time the economy contracted was 22 years ago, in 1998 during the extreme El Niño and Asian financial crisis.

A negative GDP growth indicates business closures and job losses due to weak economic activity.

The PSA’s revisions are not unusual, as the agency updates data to better reflect economic conditions.

The latest revision, however, paints a bleaker economic outlook. Experts initially thought that there would be some sort of growth in the 1st quarter, considering that the hard lockdown or enhanced community quarantine took effect only in mid-March.

The 2nd quarter GDP will be announced on Thursday, August 6. Government officials are expected to declare a technical recession or two straight quarters of negative growth.

The most optimistic projection by experts is -2.5%, while the worst estimate is -23.8%, a poll by Bloomberg showed. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

image