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Bicol Registers RP's Fastest 2009 Economic Growth Rate at 8.2%

Legazpi City (12 August) -- Bicol Region's economy grew by 8.2 per cent in 2009, twice its pace in 2008 and much faster than the 1.1 per cent growth at the national level, reports the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) in Bicol.

Craftsmen in Camalig, Albay

The same report shows that the industry sector remained the strongest performer with an 18.3 per cent expansion. Bicol Region topped all other regions in the country in terms of growth.

The Service sector, which remained the biggest contributor to the region's output at 41.8 per cent, grew at a faster rate of 5.0 per cent from 3.8 per cent the previous year. Except for Transportation, Communication and Storage, all subsectors recorded accelerated growths. Growth of Transportation, Communication and Storage slipped to 4.2 per cent from 4.3 per cent in 2008.

Trade, on the other hand posted a 2.8 per cent growth, a very slight improvement from the 2.7 per cent expansion in 2008. Similarly, Finance registered an uptrend at 8.5 per cent in 2009 against a 5.7 per cent growth a year ago.

Women making "sinamay".

Growth of Ownership of Dwellings and Real Estate improved to 3.9 per cent from 3.1 per cent in 2008. Increases in residential building construction and real estate revenues were noted during the year.

Private services improved to 7.6 per cent, higher than the 5.9 per cent growth recorded in 2008. The booming tourism activities in the region were a major contributor to the sustained growth.

Government services improved to 7.0 per cent from 3.2 per cent a year ago.

Growth in the Industry sector surged from 7.4 per cent in 2008 to 18.3 per cent in 2009. The 64.6 per cent growth of the mining sector, brought about by the region's increased gold and other metallic mineral output, largely accounted for the robust performance of industry. Manufacturing managed to stay afloat with a 1.0 per cent growth, down from 4.6 per cent in the previous year.

The weak performances of food and beverage manufactures weighed heavily on the subsector's growth.

Crafts for distribution

Construction accelerated to 7.6 per cent from 6.7 per cent a year ago. Electricity and Water, on the other hand, slumped by 4.2 per cent in 2009, a reversal from the robust 16.7 per cent expansion in 2008. Shut downs and rehabilitation works hampered the full operation of the region's power generating units.

The improved performance of Industry in 2009 further increased the sector's share to the total regional economy from 25.9 per cent in 2008 to 28.4 per cent in 2009.

The growth of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry accelerated to 4.1 per cent in 2009 from 2.0 per cent in 2008. Improved production of the region's major agricultural commodities, notably palay, coconut, banana and abaca, buoyed up the sector's performance. The rebound of the livestock and poultry industry from continued slump in the past years further boosted the industry's performance. Meanwhile, the Fishery sector continued to turn in positive contribution to the economy. The share of the Agriculture industry to the total economy dropped from 31.0 per cent in 2008 to 29.8 per cent in 2009.

Industry was the largest contributor to the economic performance of Bicol Region in 2009 accounting for 4.8 percentage points of the 8.2 per cent growth. Services contributed 2.2 percentage points, while the Agriculture sector's share was 1.3 percentage points.

Per capita GRDP for the Bicol Region increased from P7,210.00 in 2008 to P7,650.00 in 2009. The 6.1 per cent growth in the per capita GRDP of the Bicol Region improved the region's ranking from third lowest in 2008 to fourth lowest in 2009 among regions of the country. (NSCB V/PIA)

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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