Milder economic contraction seen in Q1

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — The economy shrank at a milder pace during the first quarter of 2021, revised estimates by the Philippine Statistics Authority published Monday revealed.

In a statement, the PSA said economic output contracted by 3.9% during the first three months of the year. It earlier reported a 4.2% plunge for the quarter.

The agency cited professional and business services, construction, real estate and ownership of dwellings as major contributors to the revision.

The negative growth rate for professional and business services was adjusted from -6.5% to -4.4%. Construction's -24.2% contraction was tweaked to -22.6%, while real estate's rate was revised from -13.2% to -11.7%.

Upward revisions were also recorded for net primary income from the rest of the world from -75.8% to -75.6%, and gross national income from -10.9% to -10.6%.

"The Philippine Statistics Authority revises the GDP estimates based on an approved revision policy (PSA Board Resolution No. 1, Series of 2017-053) which is consistent with international standard practices on national accounts revisions," it said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua earlier said the reported contraction for the first quarter which was milder than fourth quarter 2020's 8.3% displays signs of improvement for the economy. However, he noted that its growth is limited unless there's a major relaxation of quarantine rules.

Main economic hub Metro Manila and neighboring provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under a strict general community quarantine bubble beginning March 22 after months of more relaxed restrictions in light of a surge in COVID-19 infections. However, the area collectively known as National Capital Region Plus eventually shifted to the strictest enhanced community quarantine for two weeks beginning March 29.

The PSA will be announcing preliminary estimates for the country's economic performance during the second quarter on Tuesday, August 10.