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Economic indicators indicate robust Q4 growth: Diokno

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Benjamin Diokno, the secretary of finance, predicts that the domestic economy will keep growing because of improvements in the labor and manufacturing sectors.

In a Thursday Viber message to the media, he said, “The current economic figures all indicate a sustained, solid fourth quarter economic performance.”

GDP growth in the third quarter of this year was 7.6 percent, higher than the previously reported 7.5 percent and higher than the third quarter of last year.

In the first three quarters of this year, economic growth averaged 7.76 percent, above the government’s projection of 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth for the entire year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday that the country’s employment rate had increased by 95.5 percent annually, up from a growth of 95% in the previous month and the highest rate since January 2020.

The unemployment rate rebounded to the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 percent during this time or around 2.24 million Filipinos.

In the tenth month of this year, the labor force participation rate increased to 64.2% from 62.6 percent in the corresponding time last year.

According to PSA data, manufacturing increased in volume by 5.1 percent in October of last year, marking the industry’s sixth straight month of growth.

This was fueled, in part, by the manufacturing of non-electrical machinery and equipment, which increased annually by 76.4 percent.

According to the PSA, growth was reported by 17 out of the 22 industry divisions in October.
Diokno added that although the inflation rate increased this month to 8%, its highest level since November 2008, monetary authorities expect a reduction to begin in the first quarter of 2023.
“World oil prices and the peso appreciation are two major contributions to this trend,” he said.
This week, oil prices on the worldwide market declined to below USD80 per barrel, in part due to concerns of a global recession sparked by US developments.

The Philippine peso has been strengthening against the US dollar since last Tuesday, closing at the 55-level, helped by the yearly strong inflows of remittances from Filipinos living abroad for the Christmas holiday as well as the overall depreciation of the US dollar.

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