Philippine GDP growth disappoints at 6.4%

Philippine GDP growth disappoints at 6.4%

Share prices tumbled yesterday or lower-than-expected first quarter economic growth and jitters over the political environment in the United States, analysts said.

Public construction grew by only 2% in the first quarter of 2017, sharply down from the 38% growth posted for the same period a year ago, the statistics body said. The rate for the first quarter of 2016, an election year, had been 6.9%. To see a preview of GDP data, click on The latest growth number matches the 6.4 percent pace in the third quarter of 2015. India has yet to issue its growth figure for the period. Mr Cahyadi expects full-year growth to come in at 6.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the agriculture sector recovered with 4.9 percent growth from a decline of 4.3 percent from the previous year.

This was in stark contrast to Wednesday's session which was buoyed by optimism that first quarter GDP would grow by at least seven percent.

"To sustain the growth momentum of exports, it is important to ease government regulation, strengthen market intelligence gathering with the help of the private sector, and maximize trade agreements and economic groupings, especially with our ASEAN neighbors", he said.

"With the steady unfolding of the Build Build Build program in the coming months, we expect construction activities and public spending to pick up sharply, consistent with the government's aim to spend 5.3 percent of GDP this year for infrastructure and up to 7.4 percent by 2022", Pernia said.

He said the government is seeing a strong footing in the succeeding quarters, as it focuses on its major infrastructure program as well as other government programs, including investments in human capital, under the Philippine Development Plan.

To sustain the economy's growth momentum and ensure its effects are more broadly felt, Mr Duterte has promised to spend up to $180 billion over six years to build and modernise railways, airports, seaports and roads.

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