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Q2 GDP growth seen at 6.5%-7%

The Philippine economy likely grew faster in the second quarter, possibly between 6.5 percent and 7 percent, on the back of higher infrastructure investments and consumer spending.

“I think it would be better than the first quarter. I have a hunch. A hunch is not a hard data,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters on the sidelines of Sulong Pilipinas business forum on Wednesday.

Pernia also cited improved exports and agriculture’s performance as the main economic growth drivers for April to June quarter.

“Consumption also is continuing with the depreciation of the peso. Families receiving remittances are able to spend more because of higher conversion rate in favor of the peso, so there is more spending money,” he said.

The NEDA chief expects the economy to continue delivering positive performance.

The country’s gross domestic product expanded 6.4 percent in the first quarter this year due to the base effects of 2016 in the form of election-related spending.
    
The government will release second-quarter growth data on Aug. 17. The finance chief said he expects the Philippines to develop “closer relationships with Hainan”.
    
The Hainan officials invited Dominguez to visit their province, which, they said, could signal “the beginning of new partnerships to come” between Manila and Hainan.
    
The Hainan officials informed Dominguez that they also plan to open Chinese language training courses in the Philippines and provide scholarships to students, particularly in the province of Palawan, which has forged a sisterhood agreement with the Chinese province.
    
Besides Liu, the Hainan delegation also included Lyu Yong, director general of the Provincial Department of Commerce; Wang Sheng, director general of the Provincial Foreign Affairs Office; Fu  Xuanchao, director general of the Provincial Committee of Development and Reform; and Xin Di, CEO of Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd., China’s largest private airline.
    
The officials were accompanied to the meeting by Chinese Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua.