Recent Economic Performance

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How has the Philippine economy fared recently? Numerous indicators can be examined together in order to know how active and wealth-producing an economy is. Generally, economic performance is measured in terms of Output, Wages, and Employment. Many look at financial indicators, such as Exchange Rates and Interest Rates. Other indicators break the Output down into categories of goods and services, such as those from the manufacturing or service sectors. Still others look at debt figures; the domestic stock exchange scene; and the names of top corporations located in the country.

Output, Employment and Wages

According to the latest figures (June 2002), the Philippines posted a positive 4.9% growth for the first quarter of 2002, up from a 3.4% during the same period last year. The year-to-year data, however, shows the economy has yet to recover its condition before the Asian financial crisis hit in 1997. Back then, the country was posting an average of  5% annual growth rate.


1995 2001 2001
First Quarter
First Quarter
bulletGross National Product (constant 1985 prices, in Billion Pesos)
824.5 1051.1 248.9 261.1

annual % change

4.9 3.4 3.4 4.9
bulletGross Domestic Product
(constant 1985 prices, in Billion Pesos)
802.2 989.3 233.1 241.9

annual % change

4.7 3.2 2.9 3.8
bulletGNP by Expenditure Shares (constant 1985 prices, in Billion Pesos)
Personal consumption 623.0 779.0 179.4 185.6
Government consumption 65.8 79.9 18.8 18.8
Gross Domestic Capital Formation 187.1 206.3 57.4 56.6
Exports 344.2 425.0 105.9 102.8
Imports 428.5 485.4 114.3 109.6
bulletGNP by Industrial Origin (constant 1985 prices, in Billion Pesos)
Agriculture, Fishery, Forestry 172.8 197.7 49.2 51.4
Industry Sector 283.9 336.7 78.0 79.5
Service Sector 345.5 454.8 106.0 111.1
bulletPer capita GNP (constant 1985 prices)
11734 131.26 3124 3210

annual % change

2.4 1.3 1.3 2.8
bulletUnemployment Rate (average, in %)
9.5 11.1 12.3 12.1
bulletWage Rates: Legislated daily wage rates of Non-agricultural workers in Metro Manila (in nominal Pesos)
157.08 274.89 ---- ----
Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, 2002.
Note: Data  as of June 2002. For an elaboration of the figures and technical computation, visit


The National Economic and Development Authority reported in June 2002 that year-on-year inflation has remained stable at 3.6%, mainly due to a decline in food inflation. In 2002, non-food inflation rate went up, however, to 5.1% from 4.8% in  April because of increases in the prices of fuel, electricity, and water. Year-on-year inflation is at 5.1% in Metro Manila, while in the provinces the rate is much lower at 3% for May. NEDA also announced that
bulletexports recovered by 22.4%  in April
bulletelectricity sales by Manila Electric Company rose for the first time in April after three consecutive months in decline

With this favorable trend, Philippine economic managers expect that:
bulletthe annual inflation target for 2002 will be lowered from 5 to 6% to 4.5 to 5.5%
bulletthe low inflation rate will reduce any upward pressure on Treasure bill rates, and
bulletit will bolster investor confidence.


The country relies mainly on aquaculture and agriculture, although lands are rapidly giving way to commercial and residential uses. Agricultural production in 2000 had not picked up from its registered output in 1996; in fact production fell drastically in since 1997 and began to recover only in 2000.

A big factor for this is the frequent destruction of crops from the more than 20 typhoons that visit the country every year.

Another problem is the competition among countries that produce agricultural products: high tariff rates and government subsidies for their own agricultural sector are heavily affecting exporting countries like the Philippines. [See Related Article on "GMA Scores Trade Protectionism"]

Philippine agricultural crops can be divided between the cereal types (palay and corn) and other major crops (coconut, sugarcane, banana, pineapple, coffee, mango, tobacco, abaca, rubber, cacao, cassava, camote, peanut, mongo, onion, garlic, tomato, eggplant, cabbage, citrus and others).

(in thousand metric tons)
1996 2000 (preliminary data)
All agricultural crops 69,128.5 68,112.1
Cereals 15,434.9 16,900.5
Major crops 44,460.4 46,007.0
Other crops 9,233.2 5,204.6
Source: National Statistical Coordination Board, 2002
Note: Data as of June 2002


Fish production
(value in million pesos)

Total Fishing Operation
Commercial Fishing Municipal Fishing Aquaculture
1992 65,443.5 16,800.7 22,656.4 25,986.5
1995 83,084.1 23,065.4 26,463.8 33,554.9
2000 (preliminary) 98,088.0 33,878.0 32,596.0 31,614.0
Source: National Statistical Coordination Board, 2002
Note: Data as of June 2002

Foreign Trade

The Philippines trades mainly with Asian countries. In 2000, the trade was heavily directed toward Asian countries, including the ASEAN, East Asia, South East, and the Middle East. North America followed, then Europe, Oceania, and Africa.

(F.O.B. value in million U.S. dollars)
Total trade 61,701.20
Exports 32,150.30
Imports 29,550.90
Balance of Trade 2,599.4

Source: National Statistical Coordination Board, 2002

Jobs in Urban and Rural Areas

In urban areas, the most common occupations are in community, social and personal services, while in the rural areas, men and women are engaged in agriculture, fishery and forestry. In 2000, according to the National Statistics Office, male urban workers mostly worked in production and transportation, while female urban workers were commonly found in sales jobs.

Household Income

In the past housewives undertook wage-earning jobs mainly to augment family incomes. Recent years, however, have shown a surge in the number of female-headed households, not just in the Philippines, but also in many parts of the globe. In the Philippines, the average average household income for 1997 of households headed by women was higher than the average income of male-headed households.




Ave. household annual income by sex of household heads in 1997 (NSO data) P 163,400.00 P 121,003.00
Poor households among women (Men)-headed household in 1994 (NSO data) 23.7 % 39.8%
Source: National Statistical Coordination Board, 2002
Note: Data as of June 2002

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