MANILA, Jan 27 (Xinhua): The Philippine economy expanded by 7.6 percent in 2022 after logging 7.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, the fastest among the emerging economies in the Asean region, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has announced.
PSA head Dennis Mapa told a press conference that the 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) growth is the highest since 1976.
The sectors which contributed the most to the growth were wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, manufacturing and construction.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the 7.6-per cent growth is the fastest among the countries in ASEAN that have released the Q4 data.
The pandemic risk management and the easing of mobility restrictions have created a positive economic outlook, boosting economic activity and creating more jobs despite external headwinds, he said.
"Our robust performance in the fourth quarter reflected strong domestic demand, with three-fourths contributed by household consumption and almost a fifth by investment," Balisacan added.
The growth in domestic demand was met by expansion in the services and industry sectors, with production in most sub-sectors back to their pre-pandemic levels, Balisacan said, adding the economic growth came with more jobs, resulting in "vibrant labor market conditions," with the country's unemployment rate down to 4.2 percent in November 2022.
"This performance marks our lowest unemployment rate since 2005," he said.
"In terms of the volumes of economic activity for many sectors, we have recovered already, but some others, particularly in the trade, tourism (have yet to recover)," the chief of NEDA said.
The country's GDP grew by 5.7 percent in 2021 after the economy contracted 9.6 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic. The government expects the economy to slow down to 6 to 7 percent in 2023 due to global challenges.
China will "surely be a boon" to the Philippine economy considering that the economy is "fully, strongly integrated" with China, Balisacan said, expecting the bilateral cooperation in trade, tourism and agriculture continue to expand. - Xinhua