Philippines: Philippines economy gains steam at the end of 2015
January 28, 2016
In the fourth quarter, GDP expanded 6.3% over the same period of the previous year. The reading came in above the 6.1% rise recorded in Q3 and beat market expectations of a 5.9% increase. In addition, the reading marked the fastest expansion in a year. In the full year 2015, the Philippines economy grew 5.8%, marking a slight deceleration over 2014’s 6.1%.
Q4’s acceleration was mainly driven by upticks in private consumption and fixed investment as well as better performance of the external sector. Total consumption in Q4 continued to expand at Q3’s pace of 7.5% year-on-year, marking the largest gain in over three years. Public spending recorded a buoyant 17.4% increase, which was in line with Q3’s result and was the fastest expansion in nearly four years. Private consumption accelerated slightly, from Q3’s 6.1% to 6.4% in Q4, reaching the fastest pace of growth since Q3 2012. Fixed investment growth accelerated sharply, rising from a 13.3% expansion in Q3 to an outstanding 22.5% in Q4, the highest reading in over five years.
In the external sector, exports of goods and services expanded in Q4 7.1% over the previous year, which was up from the 6.5% increase observed in Q3. Conversely, imports decelerated slightly to a 13.3% increase (Q3: +14.9% year-on-year). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to overall economic growth improved, advancing from minus 4.7 percentage points in Q3 to minus 1.9 percentage points in Q4.