The Philippine economy grew by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of the year, surpassing other major economies in the region.

In a briefing on Thursday, May 9, National Statistician Dennis Mapa said the economic growth during the quarter was higher than the 5.5 percent seen in the last quarter of 2023.

Mapa said, however, it was lower than the 6.4 percent economic growth seen in the first quarter of last year.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan noted that the Philippine economy continues to demonstrate resilience and growth despite the domestic and external headwinds.

“Despite our challenges on both domestic and international fronts, our economy continues to demonstrate remarkable resilience and growth. This performance retains the country’s position as a leading force among Asia’s emerging economies,” he said.

Balisacan said the first quarter Philippine gross domestic product growth rate is about the same as Vietnam’s, and surpassed other major economies such as China at 5.3 percent, Indonesia at 5.1 percent, and Malaysia at 3.9 percent.

All major economic indicators which include agriculture, forestry, and fishing; industry; and services posted year-on-year growth in the first quarter at 0.4 percent, 5.1 percent, and 6.9 percent.

Household final consumption expenditure and government final consumption expenditure posted lower growth rates at 4.6 percent and 1.7 percent from a year ago’s 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent.

Balisacan said the slowdown in household spending was due to the elevated prices of major food items and the heat wave.

“Meanwhile, government spending also slowed down, primarily due to the sliding of a large amount of expenditure to April this year, whereas the government made such spending in March last year,” he said.

Gross capital formation also posted a lower growth of 1.3 percent from 12.8 percent last year, while imports of goods and services also slowed to 2.3 percent from 4.2 percent.

Growth of exports of goods and services, however, accelerated to 7.5 percent from 1.1 percent in the first quarter of 2023.

Balisacan said the growth in exports was mainly driven by the recovery in the exports of electronics products.PNA