Economy of the Philippines
The Philippines is a developing country in South-East Asia. In 2004, it was ranked as the 24th largest economy by the World Bank according to purchasing power parity. The Philippines is one of the newly industrializing countries in the world.
Important sectors of the Philippine economy include agriculture and industry, particularly food processing, textiles and garments, and electronics and automobile parts. Most industries are concentrated in the urban areas around metropolitan Manila. Mining also has great potential in the Philippines, which possesses significant reserves of chromite, nickel, and copper. Recent natural gas finds off the islands of Palawan add to the country's substantial geothermal, hydro, and coal energy reserves.
Since the end of World War II, the Philippine economy has had a mixed history of growth and development. Over the years, the Philippines has gone from being one of the richest countries in Asia (following Japan) to being one of the poorest. Growth immediately after the war was rapid, but slowed over time. A severe recession in 1984-85 saw the economy shrink by more than 10%, and perceptions of political instability during the Aquino administration further dampened economic activity. During his administration, President Ramos introduced a broad range of economic reforms and initiatives designed to spur business growth and foreign investment. As a result, the Philippines saw a period of rapid sustained growth, but the Asian financial crisis triggered in 1997 slowed economic development in the Philippines once again. In 1998, the Philippine economy deteriorated as a result of spill-over from the Asian financial crisis and poor weather conditions. Growth fell to about -0.5% in 1998 from 5% in 1997, but recovered to 3.4% by 1999. President Estrada tried to resist protectionist measures; and efforts to continue the reforms begun by the Ramos administration made significant progress. A major bank failure in April 2000 and the impeachment and subsequent departure of President Estrada in the beginning of 2001 led to lower growth. The current administration under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is pushing towards faster and more rapid economic growth. In 2004, the Philippine economy grew by 6.1%, beating most analysts and even the government's estimates. In 2005, the Philippine Peso posted an appreciation rate of 6%--the fastest in the Asian region for that year. However, the advent of high oil prices dampened the government's growth estimates for that same year as growth only amounted to 5.1%. During 2006, the economy posted a 5.4% growth, dampened by two typhoons which wreaked havoc on the agricultural sector. The government plans to bolster infrastructure spending in 2007 ten-fold, and is targeting an accelerated growth of the economy by 7% in 2007, 8% in 2008, and 9% in 2009.
As of February 2007, the stock market is currently near all time highs and the peso has appreciated to 48.07 to the dollar.
Despite the positive outlook of the economy, the government still faces challenges in many areas. Wealth distribution is uneven, and poverty remains high. Corruption is still a problem and political instability is still a reality.
In 2006, the Philippine economy expanded at a rate of 5.4%, faster than the previous year. The government plans to increase the country's GDP by 7% in 2007, although official projection is a around 6.1%-6.7%. It also aims to grow the economy by 9% in 2009, as part of the projected target of the government via enhanced public investment to attract foreign capital as well as improved domestic improvement.<ref>Philippines Aims to Boost Growth by 2009[www.forbes.com] Accessed February 22, 2007</ref>.
This is a chart of trend of gross domestic product of Philippines at market prices estimated by the International Monetary Fund with figures in millions of Philippine pesos. One peso is in equality to $0.78 of U.S. money.
|Year||Gross Domestic Product||US Dollar Exchange|