National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon expressed confidence that the improving performance of the country’s labor force and manufacturing sector will spur forward the country’s economy in the second quarter of 2018.
This is after the government released last week the labor and manufacturing data for April this year, which showed unemployment rate declined to 5.5 percent while manufacturing output increased by 31.1 percent.
“The numbers, with respect to employment are actually good; with respect to manufacturing performance, it’s actually good. And this goes well with our economic performance for the second quarter,” Edillon said in a joint press briefing with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of Finance (DOF) Tuesday.
Government data showed that robust performance of industries have contributed largely to reduce the number of jobless in the country in April. Construction sector, boosted by the administration’s Build Build Build Program, created 468,000 jobs of over 600,000 additional jobs in the market.
The Build Build Build Program aims to bridge infrastructure gaps in the country and address logistics bottlenecks that would improve the local business environment.
It was also noted that the easing month-on-month inflation rate, which started in April and continued last month, will back the further expansion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for Q2 2018.
Inflation in May was recorded at 4.6 percent, only 0.1 percentage point higher than April’s consumer price index of 4.5 percent.
In a phone interview, First Grade Finance, Inc. President and Managing Director Astro del Castillo said both data on jobs and factory output coupled with the expected easing of price pressures in the coming months are favorable for the Philippine economy this second quarter.
But Del Castillo also noted that Q2 economic data are generally better than the previous quarter.
In the first quarter of 2018, the country’s GDP rose 6.8 percent. PNA