Tourism remains the leading sector while agriculture still lag behind in the 2016 economic situationer, as reported by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-7 during the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting last Friday.
Aside from tourism,Â NEDA-7 also noted the other leading sectors such as retail trade, transportation, and employment; while the lagging sectors are agriculture, exports, and inflation.
Agriculture remains weak as to the volume production wherein the crops sector registered a decrease of 9.4 percent in 2015 and 5.9 percent in 2016; and the fisheries decreased by 0.4 percent in 2015 and by 1.3 percent in 2016.
The volume production in livestock sector increased by 3.4 in 2015, but decreased by three percent in 2016.
In poultry sector, the volume production increased by 10.8 percent in 2015 and by 5.8 percent in 2016.
Tourism industry remains vibrant where domestic visitor arrivals increased by 11.4 percent in 2014-2015 and by 22.6 percent in 2015-2016; while foreign visitor arrivals increased by 22.2 percent in 2014-2015 and by 10.9 percent in 2015-2016.
As to visitor arrivals in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, Bohol registered an increase of 36 percent and 46.1 percent, respectively.
Cebu registered an increase of 12.7 percent and 11.6 percent in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively.
Siquijor also registered an increase of 50.9 percent and 39.8 percent in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively.
These brought the total increase of visitor arrivals in Central Visayas to 16.1 percent and 17.3 percent in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, respectively.
NEDA-7 also noted that airline and shipping companies reported higher passenger traffic.
In the air transportation sector, the number of domestic passengers increased by 13.8 percent in 2014-2015 and by 10.7 percent in 2015-2016; while international passengers increased by 19.8 percent in 2014-2015 and by 21.1 percent in 2015-2016.
In the maritime transportation, embarking passengers increased by 8.2 percent in 2014-2015 and by 13.2 percent in 2015-2016; while disembarking passengers increased by 10 percent in 2014-2015 and by 16.7 percent in 2015-2016.
Merchandise exports registered a flat graph in 2015-2016 in terms of export earnings in factored in million US$.
During this period, it slumped to US$4,100-million range and remains flat in 2015-2016 from the US$5,500 million range in 2014.
In 2010, it ranged in the US$2,500-million level; then down a bit to US$2,125-million level in 2011; then rose to US$4,200-million level in 2012; and down again to US$3,950-million level in 2013.
NEDA-7 also noted the high cargo traffic for shipping industry.
InÂ Air transportation sector, domestic cargo increased by 47.5 percent in 2014-2015 and decreased by 10 percent in 2015-2016; whileÂ international cargo increased by 21.6 percent in 2014-2015 and decreased by 7.6 percent in 2015-2016.
In the maritime transportation sector, domestic container traffic (TEU) increased by 9.3 percent in 2014-2015 and by 7 percent in 2015-2016; while foreign container traffic (TEU) also increased by 25.8 percent in 2014-2015 and by 7.9 percent in 2015-2016.
According to NEDA-7, the retail trade continued to gain momentum with growing middle class and rising consumer confidence underpinned growth.
ThereÂ areÂ also stable prices of commodities and availability of jobs boosted consumer confidence, and entry of international brands; and homegrown retailers expanded to the countryside.
Inflation accelerated wherein the inflation rate in Central Visayas in 2015 is higher at 1.6 percent than the countryâ€™s 1.4 percent.
Â It rose higher to 3.2 percent in 2016 and remains higher than the countryâ€™s 1.8 percent.
NEDA-7 also reported that the employment situation improved as comparing the actual and target rates.
In 2011, the actual rate was at 93.3 percent while the target was 93 percent; went down in 2012 to 92.9 percent while the target was 93.5 percent; but increased to 93.2 percent in 2013 while the target was at 94 percent.
It shot higher to 94.2 percent in 2014 when the target was 93.5 percent; and met the exact target of 94 percent in 2015.
Â It improved further to 95 percent in 2016, higher than the target of 94.5 percent.Â Â Â