CLAIM: “Our economy posted a 7.6 percent growth in 2022—our highest growth rate in 46 years.”
RATING: True but needs more context
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. claimed that the Philippine economy grew by 7.6% in 2022, the highest growth rate in 46 years, during his second State of the Nation Address.
Although the numbers are correct, the claim needs more context.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or the value of all goods and services produced in a year, grew by 7.6% last year. It was the highest growth rate since the 8.8% economic expansion during the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1976.
However, the 7.6% expansion came from a very low base in 2021, which saw the economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippines, nevertheless, is expected to continue to enjoy a high growth with the lifting of pandemic-induced mobility restrictions.
In a report published this month, the Asian Development Bank kept its 6.0% growth projection for the Philippines, with the Manila-based lender citing the 6.4 expansion in the first quarter that was supported by robust investment, private consumption, rising employment, expanding sales and production and lively public and private construction.
However, a country’s GDP only measures the size of its economy. It does not reflect efforts to promote citizens’ welfare.
The Philippines, like the rest of the world, is still grappling with a high inflation and has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Despite the economic growth backed by numbers, a Social Weather Station survey conducted from June 28 to July 1, 2023 suggested that 45% of Filipinos feel ‘poor,’ indicating a strain on family budgets for home expenses and lower living standards. F — R. N. Moya and M. Y. Pante