By Chino Leyco
The Philippine economy grew at a slightly slower pace in the third-quarter this year as skyrocketing commodity prices took a toll on consumer purchasing power, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said today.
The country’s economy, as measured by its gross domestic product (GDP), increased by 6.1 percent in July to September, weaker from the revised 6.2 percent in the second-quarter and 7.2 percent in the same period last year.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said that the GDP growth would have been between 6.5 percent and 7.0 percent during the quarter if not for high inflation.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier reported that inflation in October remained steady at 6.7 percent, above the government’s target of 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent.
Higher inflation weakened household spending growth of 5.2 percent in July to September period, the slowest since the 5.0 percent in the third-quarter of 2014.
Food purchases grew by only 2.6 percent in the quarter ending September amid high consumer prices.
Pernia admitted that the new 6.5 percent to 6.9 percent GDP goal this year is “much more challenging” to meet as the country requires to expand 7.0 percent in October to December to meet the lower end of target.
He, however, said the latest growth figure was “respectable,” adding it is the 14 consecutive quarters of above 6.0 percent expansion rate.