Philippines: Third-quarter GDP shrinks by 11.5%

The Philippine economy shrank for a third consecutive quarter, though at a slower rate compared to second quarter’s plunge of 16.5%.
By: | November 13, 2020

The country’s third-quarter GDP decline exceeded the -7.1% to -11.4% projection of economists polled by The Manila Times. 

By sector, agriculture grew 1.2% in the third quarter, while industry and services contracted by 17.2% and 10.6%, respectively. 

The per capita GDP growth rate fell by 12.7% during the quarter from a 4.8% growth in the same period last year. 

“The double-digit contraction in the third quarter is not surprising given the return of more stringent quarantine measures in NCR (National Capital Region) and neighbouring provinces, and Cebu City, which together account for around 60% of the Philippine economy,” said acting socioeconomic planning secretary Karl Kendrick T Chua. 

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In addition, the lack of public transportation had dragged down the economy as it prevented many workers from leaving their homes and reporting for work even if their industries are allowed to operate, he said. 

However, he added: “The economic team is optimistic that the worst is over for the country”, noting the country can return to a solid growth and development trajectory if it enables the economy to recover by efficiently managing risks. 

Given the double-digit economic contraction in the third quarter, the government’s -5.5% GDP projection for this year is no longer attainable, said national statistician Claire Dennis Mapa.