Economic Trends/Outlook in the Philippines

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Economic Overview

The Philippines' economy has strengthened in the recent years, a fact that protected it from the direct impacts of the global financial crisis and the recession, but without sparing it totally.  After having attained in 2009 its lowest level since the Asian crisis (1.1%), the growth of the Philippines' GDP has revived in 2010, increasing to 7% according to the estimations.  On the track of the dynamic revival that the country has experienced, supported by the augmentation of exports in the manufacturing sector, the Philippines' economy has also profited, in a particular sense,  from the presidential elections. 

The plan of the  "economic resilience" launched at the beginning of 2009, gives priority to the "post-crisis" management through a budgetary deficit control in order to stimulate the economy and compensate the effects of the crisis.  The objective at mid-term is to bring the budget deficit  to 2% of the GDP from now until 2013.  The new president, Benigno Aquino, has presented on his agenda 16 points in the "Social Contract with the Filipino People", they emphasize the need to insure a long-term growth and reduce poverty.

On a social level, the country faces several challenges: the population living under the poverty threshold has increased in these recent years (33% of the population), the crisis has aggravated  the unemployment rate (8% of the active population), there is a significant demographic growth and  the  inequality in wealth distribution persists.

Main Indicators 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
GDP (billions USD) 161.20 188.72e 202.87e 217.58e 233.40e
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.1 7.3e 5.0e 5.0e 5.0e
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,748 2,007e 2,117e 2,227e 2,342e
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 49.2 47.3e 47.0e 46.0e 44.3e
Inflation Rate (%) 3.2 3.8e 4.9e 4.3e 4.0e
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force) 7.5 7.2e 7.2e 7.2e 7.0e
Current Account (billions USD) 8.55e 6.34e 4.49e 3.67e -
Current Account (in % of GDP) 5.3e 3.5e 2.3e 1.7e -

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database

Note: (e) Estimated Data


Main Sectors of Industry

The agricultural  sector employs about 40% of the labor force but contributes to less than 15% of the GDP. The Philippines is one of the world's main producers of rice and coconut. However, the agricultural sector suffers from low productivity, weak economies of scale and inadequate infrastructures. Fishing contributes to 3% of the GDP. The Philippines is one of the richest countries of the world in terms of minerals with an unexploited mineral wealth estimated at more than USD 840 billion. The Philippines reserves of copper, gold and zinc are among the largest of the world. 

The manufacturing sector contributes to around 30% of the GDP. Industrial food processing is one of  the Philippines' main manufacturing activities. The big industries are dominated by the production of cement, glass, chemicals products and fertilizers, iron, steel, and refined oil products.

The tertiary sector, which represents more than 50% of the GDP, has developed substantially especially in the fields of telecommunications, calling centers, and finance.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 36.1 15.1 48.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 14.8 30.2 55.0
Value Added (Annual % Change) 0.0 -0.9 2.8

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

For more detailed background on Industries in the Philippines, click here.

Indicator of Economic Freedom

Mostly unfree
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2011 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the Country Risk Analysis Provided By Ducroire.


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