Philippines: Economy Shrinks for the First Time in Two Decades

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The Philippine economy contracted for the first time in more than two decades during the first quarter, but officials warned Thursday that the worst was likely yet to come as the nation reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gross domestic product shrank 0.2 percent in January-March, its worst performance since 1998 during the Asian financial crisis as the Philippines joins a long line of countries to report devastating figures as a result of widespread lockdowns that have shut down economies.

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Many areas in the Philippines have been under quarantine since mid-March, and will remain so until at least mid-May, to contain the spread of the virus, including Manila and surrounding areas where most economic activity takes place.

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