CL posts highest economic growth rate in six years

Central Luzon recorded its highest economic growth rate from 2011-2016 at 9.5 percent, surpassing the national economy at 6.9 percent.

PSA Regional Director Edgardo Pare said the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of Central Luzon was pegged at Php773.28 billion in 2016, which is approximately P67 billion more than the region’s economic output in 2015 pegged at P706.34 billion.

“This expansion which contributed 0.9 percentage point to the country’s 6.9 percent growth, is primarily driven by the manufacturing industry, particularly from the manufacture of food, beverage and other transport equipment,” the director shared.

GRDP measures the economic performance of a region in terms of goods and services produced. It measures the relative contribution of the three major economic industries namely Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry, and Fishing (AHFF), Industry, and Services.

Pare noted that this increase in the GRDP’s nominal value is almost double compared to its growth rate last year at 5.3 percent, brought about by significant revenue increase from the three major economic sectors.

“Industry doubled from 7.1 per cent in 2015 to 16.0 per cent in 2016, while AHFF maintained its 0.6 per cent growth rate for two consecutive years,” he said.

Manufacturing, which accounted for the biggest share in the industry sector, also posted a double-digit increase from 7.0 per cent in 2015 to 17.4 per cent in the previous year.

“In terms of services sector, Central Luzon posted a growth of 5.9 per cent. This is because four of its sub-industry posted expansions for the said year. These include financial intermediation (6.5%); public administration and defense; compulsory social services (5.8%); trade and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods (5.4%); and other services (8.1%),” Pare announced.

For AHFF, agriculture and forestry accelerated from 0.8 to 0.9 point, however, a slight drop of 0.1 percent for the same period was observed in the fishing industry.

“The good news, however, is that for 2016, Central Luzon overtakes Calabarzon in terms of economic growth rate and ranked second among the 17 regions in terms of GRDP. At the same time, it remained among the top three regions nationwide in terms of regional shares to the national economy,” the PSA chief said.

However, despite these achievements, he stressed that there is still a need to provide a more disaggregated data that will be used by national government agencies and non-government organizations towards poverty reduction for a more inclusive growth.

This is the third year that the PSA conducted simultaneous news conference on the gross regional domestic products nationwide. (PIA 3)