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Monday, April 4, 2016

Was the Economy Better Under Marcos?

During the Martial Law years, the Philippines posted the highest annual GDP growth rates at 8.9% in 1973 and 8.8% in 1976.  No other President has come close to this record, save for the 7.6% annual GDP growth rate posted in 2010 under PNoy. Unfortunately, the Marcos regime also posted the most negative GDP growth rates the country has ever seen, a negative 7.3% in both 1984 and in 1985, the last two full years that his father was in power. 

Without this, the Marcos regime would have averaged a whopping 5.11% annual average per year.  With these negative years, the Marcos regime averaged a respectable 3.83% - slightly lower than Cory's 3.86% and still above the 3.76% average annual growth posted under Ramos or 2.31% under Erap.

By itself, GDP growth is not the real deal.  GDP growth can be offset by population growth.  What matters is Real GDP growth per capita - the inflation-adjusted growth in economic income of every man, woman, and child in the country.  If Real GDP per capita barely grows, then, in reality, the economic growth for most people is almost imperceptible.

Marcos began his administration with a Real GDP per Capita of $763 in 1965 and ended it more than 20 years later with a Real GDP per capita of $907, resulting in a compounded annual growth rate of only 0.87% per year.  This is even lower than the much maligned "Hindu Rate of Growth" of one percent per annum - a growth rate so slow that it becomes imperceptible to the general population.  This rate of growth ranks the second lowest among our last seven presidents.  Only Erap, whose presidency took place during the Asian Financial Crisis, posted lower growth rates - a measly 0.10% per year.

Our real economic growth was so slow that at least three other low-income nations overtook us in terms of real economic development during the 22 plus years of the Marcos regime, including our ASEAN neighbor Thailand.  In non-inflation adjusted terms, at least seven other developing countries overtook us.  

Pinoy Rate of Growth

A Stealing Analysis of the Marcos Regime

Putin vs. Marcos: Who is the Bigger Kleptocrat?

On the Collective Amnesia of the Philippine Electorate Regarding the Marcos Dictatorship

Just How Rich Are The Marcoses Today?

The Divergence: A Tale of Two Countries

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