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Philippine economy slows to 6.1 pct in Q3 of 2018

The Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed down to 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday.
The figure is lower than the revised second quarter figure of 6.2 percent.
Trade, construction, and manufacturing were the main drivers of growth for the quarter, the PSA said in a statement.
Among the major economic sectors, the PSA said services recorded the fastest growth at 6.9 percent, followed by industry with a growth of 6.2 percent. On the other hand, it said agriculture declined by 0.4 percent.
Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the Philippines still grew "at a respectable pace" in the third quarter of 2018 from the previous quarter, even with weaker consumption and consumer confidence during the period.
"We are not exactly exuberant about the 6.1 percent growth rate, but still comforted that we remain one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, next to Vietnam at 7.0 percent, China at 6.5 percent, and way ahead of Indonesia at 5.2 percent," he said.
Pernia expressed concern about the third quarter GDP data "because the reason for the slowdown, among others, is the slowdown in household consumption, particularly the marked slowdown in the household spending on food and other basic products."
However, Pernia also said that the Philippine economy -- growing at least 6 percent for 14 consecutive quarters -- suggests that the Philippines is now on a higher growth trajectory.
He added the figures "confirm our earlier hypothesis about the weakness of our agricultural sector that was not helped by having a highly regulated trading regime, let alone expected weather disturbances."
Pernia concluded that the country needs to expand by at least 7.0 percent in the fourth quarter to attain the low-end of the government's target of 6.5 to 6.9 percent growth for the whole year of 2018.
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