Philippine GDP growth after the Asian financial crisis: resilient economy or weak statistical system?
Official statistics from the Philippine National Income Accounts (NIA) depict an economy that grew faster after the Asian financial crisis (AFC). Although higher output growth was accompanied by higher real growth rates of personal consumption and the service sector, import growth compression also figured as the dominant factor that accounted for the rise in the growth rate. In this respect, the Philippine experience is quite different from much of Asia where the growth rates of domestic absorption, exports, and imports rose or fell in tandem with gross domestic product (GDP) growth. This paper takes the view that the Philippines’ uniqueness is more a reflection of the weakness of its national income accounting system than the resiliency of its economy. Furthermore, since trends in many other economic indicators outside the NIA seem to contradict it, it is very likely that GDP growth after the AFC (and after 2000 in particular) has been overstated.
JEL classification: O1, E01
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