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FUELED BY ELECTION SPENDING

Philippine Q2 GDP grew by 6.5-7% — economists


The Philippine economy likely grew by 6.5 to 7 percent in the second quarter of the year, mainly driven by election-related spending.

"We are currently experiencing stable upward growth. Consumption is steady and we expect a surge in spending from the government," John Paolo Rivera, program manager at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), told GMA News Online.

Rivera pegged the second-quarter output at 6.5 to 6.7 percent.

This was mirrored by Dean Cid Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) School of Economics, albeit slightly higher at 6.6 to 6.9 percent.

"The drivers are the rapid last-ditch election spending, strong domestic consumption, and positive remittance growth. Government spend was strong, too," he said in a separate text message.

The highest forecast by Ateneo de Manila Economics Professor Alvin Ang. He said the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), could reach 7 percent in the second quarter due to election-related spending.

Based on their respective statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs), the presidential candidates alone spent P1.907 billion during the 2016 election campaign.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data placed the money send home by overseas Filipinos at $2.4 billion in May. The central bank has yet to release the second quarter figures.

Moving forward, AIM's Rivera noted economic output is likely to be supported by additional spending in the second half of the year.

"This may be due to actual and planned public and private spending under the Duterte administration," he said.

Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said the administration wants to increase government spending, with the allocation for infrastructure at P1 trillion.

In July, the multi-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) announced a GDP target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent for the whole of 2016. — VDS, GMA News

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