Economic performance and Indicators – September 2018


Gross Domestic Product economic indicators

• The Philippine’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slows down by 6 percent in the second quarter of the year. GDP grew by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of the year.

• NEDA has attributed the slowdown to policy decisions which would promote sustainable and resilient development.

• The growth in the 2nd quarter of the year was mainly driven by Manufacturing, Trade, and construction.

Trade / Exports / Imports

• The Philippines’ total external trade in goods In July 2018 reached US$15.25 billion, indicating an increase of 17.5 percent from US$12.97 billion recorded during the same month in 2017.

• From January to July, total imports payments went up by 15.7 percent to US$61.234 billion in 2018 from US$52.923 billion in 2016, whereas, total export receipts shrank by 2.8 percent at US$38.744 billion in 2018 from US$39.869 billion in 2017.

• The country’s balance of trade in goods (BoT-G) yielded a US$22.49 billion deficit in January to July 2017, 72.3 percent bigger than the US$13.055 billion trade gap in same period of 2017.


• The headline inflation rate at the national level further accelerated by 6.4 percent in August 2018. In the previous month, inflation was posted at 5.7 percent and in August 2017, 2.6 percent.

• The indices of the following commodity groups recorded higher annual increases during the month: Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages (8.5%); Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (21.6%); Furnishing, Housing Equipment (3.5%); Health and Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (4.0%); and Recreation and Culture (2.4).


• As of July 2018, the unemployment rate was estimated at 5.4 percent. The unemployment rate in July 2017 was 5.6 percent.

• Estimates showed that 94.6 percent of the labour force population were employed in July, a slight increase from 94.4 percent last year.

Budget (Revenues and Expenditure)

• From January to June, government revenue collections vis-à-vis spending narrowed fiscal deficit to US$3.5 Billion, due to improved collections thanks to the new tax reform law (TRAIN law).

• Revenue collections reached US$26 Billion in the first half of the year.

• Government disbursements reached US$29.6 Billion or 20 percent higher than the US$24.6 Billion in the same period in 2017.

Foreign Direct Investment / Portfolio Investment

• For the first semester of the year, Foreign direct investments (FDI) grew by 165 percent to US$14.5 billion from US$5.5 billion for the same period in 2017, reflecting continued confidence of investors in the Philippine economy.

• By country, Indonesia topped all foreign investors with US$118 million, followed by Japan with US$48 million and China with US$16 million worth of investments.

Foreign Exchange Reserves

• The country’s foreign exchange reserves buffer improved to US$77 billion in August, up 1.4 percent from July’s US$76 billion.

• As of end-August, the Bangko Sentral has foreign investments of US$61.68 billion, higher than the previous month’s US$60.74 billion. Gold reserves however fell to US$7.62 billion from US$7.78 billion in July.


• Data from Bangko Sentral showed that money sent by OFWs recovered in July this year. OFW personal remittances grew by 4.5 percent in July to US$2.7 billion. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3 percent year-on-year to US$18.5 billion.

• More than 79 percent of total cash remittances came from the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.

• There are currently 10 million overseas Filipinos worldwide.

• From January to July 2018, cash remittances from the UK to the Philippines increased by 9.9 percent at US$ 856,256,000 from US$ 799,049,000 for the same period in 2017. The UK remains the top source of overseas Filipino remittances in Europe, representing 35.36 % of the total remittances from the region.



scene of beach in coron, philippines

• First semester tourist arrivals increased by 10.4 percent (or 3.7 million), compared to the 3.3 million arrivals recorded for the same period last year.

• Despite the closure of Boracay, tourism officials are confident that the year-end target of 7.5 million arrivals will be achieved.

• Arrivals from the UK have reached 89,782 within the first five months of this year. The UK still ranks as the 8th top visitor market for the Philippines.

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