In comparison to last year’s economy and the previous quarter’s decline of 2.4%, the first quarter of 2021 has recorded a growth of 0.2% which implies a turnaround in the economy even in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis. This growth was caused by the manufacturing sector particularly the output expansions in the electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical clusters.
These statistics are according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s recently released advanced estimate of the GDP.
Based on the quarterly data gathered, the economy has recorded an increase of 2.0% following a 9% growth in third quarter of 2020 and 3.8% growth in fourth quarter of 2020.
Contrary to the growing manufacturing sector, the construction sector’s performance declined by 20.2%, although it did improve compared to the previous quarter’s record of 27.4% contraction.
The MTI has credited the first quarter’s improvement to the construction activities of both the public and the private sectors.
The remaining sectors like the wholesale, retail trade, transportation and storage declined by 4.1% in the first quarter which for the most part was attributed to the transportation sector due to impact of the pandemic among the land, air and water transportations which is in contrast to the wholesale and retail trade sectors that continues to expand amidst the crisis.
While accommodation and food services sector, along with the real estate, administrative and support services and other services industry shrank to 3.9% compared to the 9.9% contraction last quarter which implies improvement.
As safety protocols and health measures are being imposed due to the pandemic, all sectors within the group contracted as activities will remain restricted. Meanwhile, the information and communications, finance and insurance and professional service sectors collectively grew by 3.7% on the first quarter which is an expansion from the 2.4% recorded in the previous quarter.