© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker wearing a protective face mask picks up items as shoppers queue to buy groceries at a supermarket amid new cases of coronavirus, in Manila, Philippines, March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines’ unemployment rate in September fell to a new low since the COVID-19 pandemic began, highlighting more green shoots of recovery as the country fully reopens its domestic economy.
The unemployment rate eased for a third month in a row to hit 5% in September, the statistics agency said on Tuesday, which bodes well for third quarter growth.
“The recent survey results show the gains of the full reopening of our economy,” Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in a statement.
Gross domestic product was 7.4% in the second quarter, bringing the average growth in the first half of the year to 7.8%, above the government’s 6.5-7.5% growth target for 2022. Official third quarter GDP data will be released on Nov. 10.