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PSA keeps Q3 GDP growth unchanged

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Commuters pass through a walkway connecting the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and 2 in Recto, Manila, Aug. 25, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE PHILIPPINE Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday it revised the annual growth figures for nearly all industries for the third quarter of 2022, but kept the gross domestic product (GDP) growth print unchanged.

PSA data showed GDP — the value of all finished goods and services produced in the country at a given period — grew by 7.6% in the July-to-September period, as previously reported on Nov. 10, 2022. This was faster than the previous quarter’s 7.5% and 7% in the third quarter of 2021. 

Out of the three major sectors, the PSA only revised the services sector growth. Services grew by 9.2% in the third quarter, from the 9.1% previously reported by the PSA.

The PSA said it revised all industry growth figures for the third quarter, except for the services subsector public administration and defense, compulsory social activities which maintained annual growth of 0.7% in the third quarter. 

Industries that expanded faster than previously reported were real estate and ownership dwellings (3.6% from 3.1% previously), financial and insurance activities (7.9% from 7.7%), education (5.7% from 5.2%), transportation and storage (24.6% from 24.3%), accommodation and food service activities (41.6% from 40.6%), and other services (39% from 38.3%). 

Meanwhile, the following services subsectors recorded slower expansion during the July-to-September period: wholesale and retail trade (9% from 9.1% previously), professional and business services (8.9% from 9.3%), information and communication (7.7% from 7.8%), and human health and social work activities (5.1% from 5.9%).      

Only the industry sector was unchanged with 5.8% third-quarter growth. Notably, three of its subsectors saw upward revisions: manufacturing (3.8% from 3.6%); electricity, steam, water, and waste management (4.2% from 3.9%); and mining and quarrying (10% from 9.1%). 

On the other hand, the construction subsector’s growth was downwardly revised to 11.7% from 12.2%, as previously reported by the PSA.

Likewise, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector was revised downward to 2.1%, from 2.2%.

Net primary income from the rest of the world was upwardly revised to 95.1%, from the 94.6% initially reported.

On the other hand, the third-quarter gross national income — the sum of the nation’s GDP and net primary income from the rest of the world — remained at 10.5%. 

On the expenditure side, growth in household and government spending was unchanged at 8% and 0.8%, accordingly.

Meanwhile, gross capital formation — the investment component of the economy — inched up to 21.8% from 21.7%. 

Growth of trade in goods and services was also tweaked, with exports (13.4% from 13.1%) and imports (17.8% from 17.3%) expanding more than initially reported.

The revisions come ahead of the release of PSA’s national accounts for fourth-quarter 2022 today (Jan. 26).

The fourth-quarter GDP is expected to post a 6.8% expansion, based on a poll of 23 economists conducted last week by BusinessWorld.

On an annual basis, the country’s output could have grown by 7.5% in 2022, median forecasts of the economists showed. This meant the country’s output hit the upper end of the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s 6.5%-7.5% target.

According to the PSA, revisions on the estimates are based on updated data submissions by data source agencies, in line with international standard practices. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona