FPI: Construction will drive GDP growth


The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said the country’s economic performance in the succeeding quarters will improve and will be driven by the construction industry.

“I think [GDP] will improve because we just came from a pandemic. Not all companies can get back to its feet right away,” Jesus Arranza, FPI chairman, said on the sidelines of the Global Anti-Illicit Trade Summit held in Taguig City on May 18. The summit was organized by the Economist Impact.

Arranza said construction will drive GDP growth. “Lumaki ‘yung construction. It is a big contributor.”

While he believes that manufacturing can also help improve the Philippines’s economic performance, Arranza said smuggling is hurting the sector.

“Manufacturing is having a lot of problems with smuggling. The worst is its problem with the substandard products because it is not only robbing manufacturers and dislocating workers, but it is also putting our consumers at risk,” he said.

Last week, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced that the country posted a GDP growth of 6.4 percent in the first quarter. This was the slowest in eight quarters.

PSA data showed GDP growth was at 8 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.

The main contributors were wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 7 percent; financial and insurance activities, 8.8 percent; and other services, 36.5 percent.

Major economic sectors—Agriculture, forestry, and fishing; Industry; and Services—all posted positive growths in the first quarter of 2023 with 2.2 percent, 3.9 percent, and 8.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, a recent nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed that nine out of 10 Filipinos believe that the government should support the Philippine manufacturing sector, saying it has the capacity to accelerate the growth of the country’s economy.

Majority or 62 percent of Filipinos believe local manufacturing activities can contribute to economic growth through creating livelihood opportunities for local service businesses needed to support manufacturing operations.

At least 62 percent also noted that the manufacturing sector can contribute to the economy by making goods more affordable and accessible to Filipino consumers.

Meanwhile, half of Filipinos or 50 percent said they also believe the manufacturing sector increases local and foreign investment that will generate more quality jobs and employment opportunities.

With these economic benefits, the survey respondents identified actions the government should take to spur the growth of manufacturing and other industries.

Sixty-one percent of Filipinos cited a need to provide opportunities for training to workers to upgrade or learn new work skills; 50 percent believe there is a need to provide more incentives that are competitive with other countries, and 45 percent believe there is a need to develop more economic zones.

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza