Philippines posts 7.5 per cent growth in second quarter of 2013 in spite of Political challenges encountered

The Philippine economy is now expanding faster than any other in Southeast Asia, while the second-quarter results are in line with growth in regional powerhouse China.

In spite of several challenges encountered by the country during the second quarter of 2013, GDP still managed to grow and settled at 7.5 % higher than what had been expected.

During the second quarter in 2013 Stock investors in emerging economies in Asia including the Philippines, Thailand and India pulled out their fund for expected growth in the US but the recent imminent war in Syria makes the investors turn their heads back to the Philippines.

Taiwan also imposed 7 economic sanctions to the Philippines but the country's GDP remained resilient as shown in the economic growth.

Typhoon and flooding also devastated the country leaving massive destruction to the agricultural sector.

In Mindanao, the South Philippines also hampered by continues power blackout for power shortage resulting to temporary closure of some manufacturing plants

Several challenges encountered by the country but the GDP growth remained above 7 % which means the trend of the Philippine economy is no longer at 5-6% level.

The country might expect almost double digits economic growth in the second quarter if the enumerated challenges did not happened.

Finally, the Philippines economy settled and expanded to 7.5 per cent in the April-June quarter, data showed Thursday, thanks to an increase in government spending and growth in consumer spending.

The second-quarter figures provide a welcome boost to the government at a time when the country's stock market and currency slump as foreign investors pull out of emerging economies in expectation of an end to the US Federal Reserve's stimulus.

Thursday's data are a sharp improvement from the 6.3 per cent seen in the same period in 2012, the National Statistical Coordination Board said, while it also marks the fourth straight quarter of growth above 7.0 per cent.

The economy is now expanding faster than any other in Southeast Asia, while the second-quarter results are in line with growth in regional powerhouse China.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the news indicated that growth in 2013 would be higher than initially forecast.

"I think we will likely surpass the target growth of 6.0-7.0 per cent for the full year. What we have to sustain now is investment in order to create quality jobs," he told reporters.

"We are in a better position than many of the emerging economies," he said.

His comments come as the Philippines -- like several emerging markets around the world -- sees huge outflows of cash that had been pumped into the economy over the past year as the Fed kept interest rates ultra-low.

The foreign withdrawal has seen markets from Manila to Jakarta to Bangkok slump in recent weeks and their currencies tumble. The pesos has fallen about 8.5 per cent against the dollar since May.

But while Balisacan said the economy had been affected the fears over the Fed's stimulus program, he added: "It is important to recognize the volatility is largely externally driven," he said.

It also brings GDP growth in the first six months of 2013 to 7.6 per cent, compared with 6.4 per cent in the same period in 2012.

By Prince DAN WE, also with report from The Economic Times

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