Wednesday, December 7
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MOSTLY ACCURATE: First quarter growth driven by consumption, investments, manufacturing and other key sectors

pubmat by FRANCIS RAFAEL D. OBENZA

CLAIM: “In the first quarter alone, GDP (gross domestic product) saw an increase in the household consumption and private investments, along with robust manufacturing industry, high vaccination rate, improved health capacity, and upward trend in tourism and employment.”

RATING: Mostly accurate

DETAILS: In his first State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. claimed that the first quarter GDP growth was brought about by an increase in household consumption, investments from the private sector, robust manufacturing industry, high vaccination rate, improved health capacity, and an upward trend in tourism and employment.

This claim is mostly accurate.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that the expansion in the first quarter GDP was caused by growth in manufacturing (10.1 percent), wholesale and retail trade, including vehicle repair businesses (7.3 percent), and transportation and storage sectors (26.5 percent).

Other driving forces include agriculture (0.2 percent), forestry and fishing (10.4 percent), and industry and services (8.6 percent) sectors. However, agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors declined by -0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2022 due to the decrease in corn (-13.1 percent), fishing and aquaculture (-4.8 percent), and banana (-2.0 percent) production.

The Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HCFE), meanwhile, is continuously rising. It increased by 10.1 percent in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the -.48 percent decline in the first quarter of 2021.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a 9.9 percent increase, accounting for 36.2 percent of all household spending.

Other sectors also posted growths namely restaurants and hotels (20.4 percent) transportation (16.5 percent), other products and services (8.4 percent), and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (6.1 percent).

The Asian Development Bank has projected that the country’s economy would continue to grow by 6.5 percent by the end of 2022 and by 6.3 percent in 2023, given the wider coverage of the COVID-19 vaccination rate, reopening of private businesses and the tourism sector, and the decreasing unemployment rate.

According to the Department of Health, more than 157 million primary doses of COVID-19 jabs and more than 16 million booster doses have been administered as of Aug. 4.

PSA, meanwhile, has reported that the employment rate in May 2022 was at 94 percent. This was lower than the 94.3 percent rate in April 2022 but higher than the 92.3 percent logged in May 2021.

With regard to the tourism sector, the Department of Tourism has reported that the foreign tourist arrivals in the country reached 202,700 as of April 7, 2022.

However, the approved foreign investments for the first quarter of 2022 fell by 54.1 percent. It was equivalent to P8.98 billion, lower than the P19.55 billion approved in the same period last year.

This year’s commitments were mainly driven by investments from Japan (39.7 percent), South Korea (18.5%), and Singapore (18.2%). F – Mary Dienne Bernal and Trixcy Loseriaga

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