This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Philippines’ Richest 2021. See the full list here.
The Philippines pulled out of a year-long recession in the second quarter with headline-grabbing 11.8% GDP growth—the fastest year-on-year quarterly expansion in over three decades.
The rebound contrasts dramatically with the 17% decline in the year-earlier quarter. This quarter’s jump was chalked up to the government’s robust response through social programs and monetary measures to cushion the pandemic’s financial impact.
Rising Covid-19 cases and repeated lockdowns, however, have put the recovery at risk. In mid-August the government lowered its GDP growth target to between 4% to 5% from the previous range of 6% to 7%. And despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s heralded pivot to China, Beijing has yet to fully deliver promised billions in investment to help reboot growth.
Though the growth forecast for this year was cut amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, a solid recovery is expected next year.
Household spending is expected to remain lackluster this year, due to unemployment hovering at 8% and consumer prices projected to rise 4%.
The Philippine peso’s decline puts it halfway among those of ASEAN’s major currencies.
Metro Manila was again placed under strict lockdown in early August to stop the spread of the Delta variant.