After recording a 6.9% growth rate in 1Q2016 and 7% growth in 2Q2016, data released by the Philippines Statistics Authority showed that Philippines notched a 7.1% year-on-year GDP growth rate in the third quarter of 2016 (July-September), emerging as the fastest growing Asian economy during the period. This is the fastest quarterly growth rate since the second quarter of 2013 when Philippines posted a 7.6% growth rate.
Philippines’ growth outpaced quarterly growth in China (6.7%), Vietnam (6.4%),
Indonesia (5.2%) and Malaysia (4.3%). 2016 third quarter GDP growth stood at 2.7% in South Korea, 2.2% in Japan, 2.06% in Taiwan and 0.6% in Singapore.
India has yet to publish third quarter data. India notched 7.1% growth in 2Q2016.
According to the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), the services sector posted a 6.9% growth rate in the third quarter of 2016 (slightly lower than last year’s 7.2% growth), while industry accelerated to 8.6% (compared with 6.1% last year) and after five consecutive quarters of decline, the agriculture sector grew 2.9% (compared with a 0.1% decline last year).
Philippines has enjoyed robust FDI inflows this year. Data released this month show Philippines’ FDI inflows in August increased 32% year-on-year, bringing the year-to-date (January-August) tally to 71%. Philippine president Duterte’s four-day state visit to China last month resulted in investment commitments of US$ 15 billion, which is nearly three times the total FDI inflows to the Philippines last year according to data from the “World Investment Report 2015” published by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
At US$ 5.23 billion, Philippines’ FDI inflows last year lagged its major South-East Asian counterparts, namely Singapore (US$ 65.26 billion), Indonesia (US$ 15.50 billion), Vietnam (US$11.80 billion), Malaysia (US$11.12 billion) and Thailand (US$10.84 billion). Four members of the 10-member ASEAN group had lower FDI inflows than Philippines last year, namely Myanmar (US$2.82 billion), Cambodia (US$1.70 billion), Laos (US$1.22 billion) and Brunei (US$0.17 billion).