The Philippine economy likely grew by more than 5 percent in the first quarter, on the back of robust infrastructure and election-related spending, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.
Economic Planning Secretary and Neda director-general Emmanuel Esguerra said the economy received a boost from election-related activities ahead of the May 2016 national elections.
“Certainly [faster the 2015’s first quarter growth]. You can easily exceed the 5-percent growth [in first quarter of 2015],” Esguerra told reporters.
“It is a given. 2016 is an election year. Whether you like it or not, there is an additional boost on spending,” Esguerra said.
A study showed there was an additional 0.3 to 1 percentage point in gross domestic product growth during election years.
Esguerra said the growth of sectors affected by election-related activities such as media and advertising would trigger multiple effects on the broader level.
“It has multiplier effects and there will be people who will get some income. There will be spending that adds to the consumption,” Esguerra said.
The economy grew 5.8 percent in 2015, boosted by robust domestic demand, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Last year’s growth, however, was the slowest in four years, data showed.
The economy expanded 5 percent in the first quarter, 5.8 percent in the second quarter and 6.1 percent in the third quarter, before picking up 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
This brought full-year growth to 5.8 percent in 2015, slower than 6.1 percent in 2014 and 7.1 percent in 2013.