PHILIPPINE ECONOMY LEADS SOUTHEAST ASIA

THE Philippine economy grew by 7.1% in the third quarter of 2012, the highest growth rate among the Southeast Asian nations. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the third quarter was over Indonesia's 6.2%, Malaysia's 5.2%, Vietnam's 4.7%, Thailand's 3%, and Singapore's 0.3%.

Household spending contributed more than half of the growth. Government spending expanded by 12%. The Department of Social Welfare and Development spent around R15.3 billion for the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which benefited 800,000 families. Public construction grew by a strong 23.7%. Trade grew by 7% in the third quarter of 2012.

The Communications industry grew 9.6%. Tourism sector catered to around 3.1 million tourists as of September, 2012. The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector grew by 10.2%, up from 6.6 percent in 2011. The manufacturing sector grew by 5.7% in the third quarter of 2012. Considerable growth was recorded by wearing apparel (56.7%), furniture and fixtures (35.1%), office accounting and computing machinery (20.4%), rubber and plastic products (11.9%).

The rebound of the Net Primary Income from the Rest of the World by 4.9 percent pushed the Gross National Income (GNI) to grow by 6.6 percent from 2.2 percent in 2011. All three major credit rating agencies - Moody's, Standard & Poor's (S&P), and Fitch Group - have placed the Philippines next to investment grade. Singapore-based DBS Banks, the largest bank in Southeast Asia in assets, said that the country may receive another upgrade in its credit rating by the first quarter of 2013.

The Manila Bulletin led by its Chairmanof the Board Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, Officers and employees, congratulate the government of the Republic of the Philippines headed by H.E. President Benigno S. Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, National Economic and Development Authority headed by Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Department of Budget and Management headed by Secretary Florencio B. Abad, and Department of Finance headed by Secretary Cesar V. Purisima in their efforts in making the Philippine economy lead in Southeast Asia. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!

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