The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 6.4 percent during the first quarter of 2023, according to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The growth in GDP is within the median estimates of analysts and still within the government’s target of 6.0 percent to 7.0 percent for 2023.
NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balicasan also revealed that the Philippines had the fastest growth among major emerging economies in the region that have released their first quarter 2023 real GDP growth so far, followed by Indonesia (5.0%), China (4.5%), and Vietnam (3.3%).
The country’s growth is also more rapid than the forecasted first quarter growth rates for Malaysia (4.9%), India (4.6%), and Thailand (2.8%).
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, financial and insurance activities, and other services were the main contributors to the first quarter growth, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa.
PSA data also showed that agriculture, forestry, and fishing, industry, and services posted positive growth.
Meanwhile, Gross National Income (GNI) grew by 9.9 percent, and the Net Primary Income (NPl) from the rest of the world increased by 81.2 percent during the same period.
“The better-than-expected first-quarter performance this year implies that we are returning to our high-growth trajectory despite the various challenges and headwinds we have faced. However, we have much more work to realize our social and economic transformation agenda toward a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient Philippines,” Balicasan said.
The PSA also reported that the country’s employment rate has continued to climb, reaching 95.3 percent or 48.58 million individuals employed in March 2023.