Illustrative image (Source: rappler)
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on August 8 that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 5.5 percent in the second quarter, its slowest pace in four years.
Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia blamed the delay in the passage of this year's government budget and election ban for the dull economic performance during the period.
The PSA said the main drivers of growth for the quarter were trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods, manufacturing, and other services.
Among the major economic sectors, PSA said services recorded the fastest growth with 7.1 percent. Industry registered a growth of 3.7 percent while agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing expanded by 0.6 percent.
Pernia said the April-June growth is the Philippines' lowest growth outturn in 17 quarters, meaning that the country will have to grow by an average of at least 6.4 percent in the second half to reach the full-year target of 6-7 percent in 2019.
He also added that the El Nino phenomenon and its impact on water-sensitive crops like rice and corn is also to blame.
El Nino phenomenon’s impact on water supply, particularly in Metro Manila, was so severe that adversely affected consumer confidence, resulting in a slowdown in household consumption, growing by 5.6 percent in the second quarter, compared with 6.2 percent in the first quarter./.