PH economy outperforms neighboring countries: Diokno

The Philippine economy has outperformed neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and China, a Cabinet official.

“For the first three quarters of 2022, average (gross domestic product) growth has reached 7.7 percent, surpassing the full-year target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said during the World Economic Forum on 18 January.

Diokno said all major production sectors registered positive growth, suggesting broad-based expansion despite the increase in international and domestic commodity prices.

“This was led by Services [9.1 percent], followed by Industry (5.8 percent), and Agriculture (2.2 percent). In particular, growth in Services was driven by trade (8.7 percent) and transportation and storage (25.9 percent), reflecting the increase in household consumption and the continued reopening of the economy,” the Finance secretary said.

Meanwhile, the domestic aggregate demand, which expanded by 10.8 percent because of strong household consumption (8.9 percent) and investments (21.1 percent), remained an engine of growth for the first three quarters of 2022.

Diokno said the Philippines’ strong economic recovery was also seen in the drop in the unemployment rate, which decreased to 4.2 percent — the lowest since 2005 and lower than the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 percent.

Record-high net FDI inflows

Furthermore, he said where foreign direct investments were concerned, the Philippines raked in record-high net FDI inflows of $12.4 billion in 2021. For the first 10 months of 2022, net FDI inflows reached $7.6 billion.

Meanwhile, gross international reserves, on the other hand, remain at a healthy level, said Diokno.

“As of end-December 2022, GIR stood at $96 billion, which means that the country has enough to pay for 7.3 months’ worth of imports,” he said.
This figure is well above the International Monetary Fund’s reserve adequacy metric and higher than selected Asian and emerging economies, the Finance chief added.

From January to November 2022, revenue collections reached P3.28 trillion, or 18.1 percent higher than the collection for the same period in 2021.

By yearend, the country was at 99.2 percent of its full-year target for 2022.

“All these signs indicate that we have adequate buffers against external headwinds and that our economy is resilient, agile, and primed for new heights,” Diokno said.

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