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First quarter GDP dips -0.2%

Joshua Lao

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While a contraction in the gross domestic product (GDP) was expected for the second and third quarters of the year, figures in the first quarter of 2020 bared a similar outturn—an unexpected minus 0.2 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said the decline was the first since the fourth quarter of 1998, where it contracted by 3 percent.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said that while they didn’t expect the GDP result for the quarter, the country’s GDP remains modest compared to its peers.

“If I compare this to 2009 and 1998, the magnitude of the impact, suggests this small decline is actually respectable. Compared to other countries, we are in a better footing,” Chua said.

For 2020, Chua said that their projection of 0 to minus 0.8 percent GDP remains while an economic recovery is eyed to begin in June.

“We are hoping to start to reverse the trajectory of the economy by June. The idea is to use policy to proactively shape our future, so by the end of the year, we will have a respectable performance,” he quicky added.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila earlier noted that they are looking at a contraction for both the second and third quarters, to be followed by a 0.4 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter.

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