Philippines GDP falls for first time since 1998 hinh anh 1People line up to receive aid in Quezon, the Philippines as COVID-19 spreads (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippines’ GDP shrunk 0.2 percent in the first three months of 2020, recording the first contraction since the fourth quarter of 1998, announced the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on May 7.

The latest reading compares with the 6.7 percent increase recorded in Q4 2019, and 5.7 percent in the first quarter last year.

Speaking in an online briefing, PSA head Claire Dennis Mapa said that the main contributors to the decline were manufacturing, transportation and storage, and accommodation and food service activities.

Among the major economic sectors, agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and industry contracted by 0.4 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, services posted a growth of 1.4 percent during the period.

In the same briefing, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary of the Philippines Karl Kendrick Chua said containing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives through the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine has come at great cost to the Philippine economy.

He added that a negative GDP growth was last seen in 1998, when the full year economic performance contracted by 0.5 percent during the Asian Financial Crisis, coupled with the El Nino situation./.