ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
NEDA forecasts weaker Philippine growth
In a briefing, Margarita Songco, NEDA deputy director general for planning told reporters that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) likely grew between 6.7 percent and 7.7 percent in the July to September period.
The NEDA third-quarter forecast is weaker than the second quarter growth of 7.9 percent, but higher than last year's 0.8 percent.
The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) will announce the official GDP figures on Thursday.
Songco blamed the third-quarter slowdown on the negative impact of the prolonged El Ni?o phenomenon on the agriculture sector.
The Department of Agriculture earlier reported that farm output, comprising a fifth of GDP, contracted by 2.62 percent in the first nine months due to the El Nino.
Despite the farm-sector disappointment, the continued global economic recovery, low inflation environment, and improvement in consumer and business confidence likely weighed more on the Philippines' third-quarter results, Songco said.
She said the industry sector likely was the main growth driver in the third quarter given the strong external and domestic demand, which fueled the manufacturing, construction, and mining and quarrying subsectors.
"The services sector, benefiting from a low inflation environment, may also have contributed significantly to GDP growth in the previous quarter. The trade, private services, transportation, communication and storage sub-sectors possibly supported growth in the services sector," the NEDA official said.
Songco said GDP for the full-year is likely to hit above 7 percent.
For 2011 to 2016, the Aquino administration is eyeing economic growth between 7 percent to 8 percent.
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