The Philippine economy expanded 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2023, within the government’s target range but slower than 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter and 8.0 percent a year ago, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
National statistician and civil registrar general Dennis Mapa said in a news briefing the 6.4 percent gross domestic product growth in the first quarter was the slowest registered since the second quarter of 2021.
National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said, however, the Philippines grew the fastest in the region in the first quarter this year, and it should not be considered a slowdown coming from a low base.
The PSA said wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles grew by 7.0 percent; financial and insurance activities, 8.8 percent; and other services, 36.5 percent.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing; industry; and services posted positive growths in the first quarter with 2.2 percent, 3.9 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively.
Household final consumption expenditure increased 6.3 percent in the first quarter. Government final consumption expenditure rose 6.2 percent; gross capital formation, 12.2 percent; exports of goods and services, 0.4 percent; and imports of goods and services, 4.2 percent.
The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee maintained its previous growth forecast for the economy at 6 percent to 7 percent this year despite the headwinds associated with geopolitical tensions, higher interest rates and elevated inflation.
DBCC—composed of the secretaries of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority—expressed optimism that the high-growth performance would continue until 2028.
The Philippine economy grew by 7.6 percent in 2022, outperforming the DBCC’s growth target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.