Latest official figures show drastically reduced poverty level from 23 to 18%. This is the lowest ever poverty recorded in Philippine history, and the sharpest drop in poverty rates in recent years.
Likewise, our unemployment rates have dropped from 5.1% to 4.5%, also garnering for us the lowest unemployment rate in about 14 years.
Economists are also predicting a 6.5% growth in the last quarter of 2019, pushing our year end growth to about 6%. This gives us sustained growth over the last ten years, placing us among Asia`s top five fastest growing economies.
The GDP growth rates are admirable, since they show how fast we are growing. In the same vein, Lower poverty and unemployment are measures tell us that more people are participating in the economy and are leading better lives.
With similar inflation forecasts foreseeing it to stay within the 2-4% range in 2020, it looks like our economic growth will be both sustained and inclusive. This is perhaps a result of policy changes adapted since 2016, such as the Sin Tax, TRAIN Law and Rice Tarrification Law that allowed Filipinos higher take home pay and cheaper rice. This lessened food costs and kept inflation low. Increased public spending also drove up employment.
Obviously, these positive economic numbers are good for attracting investors, who will see a robust market increasing in affluence, and more buyers for products and sources of raw materials and products. This entry of investors will push the economy to grow even further.
The next, and more important question is how to sustain the growth, and assure the economy of the continuity of this growth, especially the continued lowering of poverty and unemployment rates. We will leave that to our capable economic managers, that have achieved this great set of outcomes for us. Our taxpayer money has not gone to waste.