The Philippine economy plunged 16.5 percent in the second quarter, the worst drop since democracy was restored in 1986 as lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on businesses.

A day before releasing the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the first-quarter decline was worse than initially reported, at 0.7 percent. It was the first contraction since 1998, during the Asian financial crisis.

Two consecutive declines in GDP, or the value of goods and services produced by the economy, is regarded by economists as a technical recession.

The PSA said the top three contributors to the decline were transportation and storage, which saw a 59.2-percent decline, construction, which went down 33.5 percent and manufacturing, which dropped 21.3 percent.

Only agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector posted growth at 1.6 percent. Industry and services both declined, by 22.9 percent and 15.8 percent, respectively.

In terms of expenditure, declines came from the gross capital formation at 53.5 percent, and exports of goods and services at 37 percent. Imports also plunged 40 percent. J. Mangahis