The economy grew—so what?
A week ago (8/27/2014), Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan was pleased to report that economic growth had accelerated to 6.4 percent/year, adjusted for inflation, in the second quarter of 2014. He touted the Philippines as the second fastest growing economy among major Asian countries, with its growth rate equaling Malaysia’s and topping Indonesia’s 5.1 percent and Thailand’s 0.3 percent.
Some technicalities. How well does economic growth signify betterment of the people’s economic wellbeing? The cited number of 6.4 is specifically the growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is the aggregate of production and also of income—since value-added in production is also value-earned as income—within Philippine domestic territory, including that of foreign entities based in it.