Actual GDP growth in the PH 1st quarter of 2012 was a moderate 4.31%, not 6.4%

“The 6.4% figure they’ve reported is accurate for what it is, but it only tells one version of the story — think of it in the context of the five blind men and the elephant. ” – Ben Kritz.

The actual GDP growth in the 1st quarter of 2012 was a moderate 4.31%, “not 6.4% as the government claims; still remarkably better than the previous quarter, but actually a little short of forecasts.”

Those real GDP figures, however, are based on constant prices from the year 2000. From an analytical standpoint one year is as good as another to use as a benchmark, but in real-world terms, the Pinoy economy and society of 2012 does not have that much in common with the last year of Joseph Estrada’s term in the pre-9/11, pre-Global Economic Crisis days of the peso trading at around 50 to the dollar. If, as the Aquino Administration and its supporters insist, this is truly “P-noy’s” economy, then the only legitimate way to measure his progress is to set the benchmark to the state in which it was delivered into his stewardship. Substituting the end of the 2nd quarter of 2010 – the day he took office – as the ‘constant’ for the year 2000 used now and recalculating the appropriate deflator variable (which in this case ranges from 1.039 to 1.33) to compensate for inflation paints an interesting picture.

Ben Kritz presents a technical Note on Philippine GDP Performance for the first quarter. This presents the data and calculations used as the basis of the article “Why You’re Not Feeling the Country’s Unexpected Economic Growth”. The scope of the GDP analysis covers the term of President B.S. Aquino III todate, from the end of the 2nd quarter of 2010 (30 June 2010) through the end of the 1st quarter of 2012 (31 March 2012)

Technical Note on Philippine GDP Performance

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a social media practitioner with over 9 years experience in blogging, citizen advocacy and online media publishing. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good. She is the editor of Blog Watch ( and the features editor of the Philippine Online Chronicles (, a platform for alternative viewpoints and a synthesizer of ideas. She writes about good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and digital citizenship . She also blogs at her personal blogs : (parenting) , (recipes), (gadgets) and (lifestyle).


Organization affiliation includes Scrap Pork Network. Family friends with Senators Pia Cayetano and Senator Alan P. Cayetano.

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  1. Thanks for posting this, Noemi. I should point out that I wrote the article before I decided I should clean up my messy notepad and “show my work” with the technical note, so there are minor differences — the best way to handle this kind of exercise is to check, re-check, and check again, a perspective that the country’s economic overseers ought to adopt themselves, I think.

    Just as a general tip for everyone: The nominal (current prices) GDP expressed in per capita terms is, for most of us ordinary people’s needs, the most personally-relevant of the various ways the country’s economic health can be described. When you’re hearing the government (and this goes for governments anywhere, really) patting themselves on the back with the figure they headline in the press release, look for the number above to get a bit of an explanation as to why your own household’s economy is going the way it is. 

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