MANILA: The Philippines beat expectations Thursday after a surprising economic rebound saw growth accelerate in the last three months of 2014, with officials predicting further strong expansion in the year ahead.
The country’s economy grew 6.9 percent in the last quarter of 2014, offsetting weak growth in the July September period to boost full year gross domestic product (GDP) expansion to 6.1 percent, exceeding forecasts from major international institutions.
“On a full year basis, our country ranked second next to China with 7.4 percent and slightly higher than Vietnam with 6.0 percent,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.
“With this upbeat year end performance, the economy is anticipated to gain further traction in 2015,” he told reporters.
Full year growth in 2014 was above the 6.0 percent forecasts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, but below the government’s 6.5 percent target.
GDP grew by an impressive 7.2 percent in 2013. The 2014 fourth quarter GDP growth figure of 6.9 percent was an improvement from the 6.3 percent growth posted in the same period in 2013.
Balisacan said all of the country’s major economic sectors agriculture, industry and services showed robust growth in the last three months of 2014 with agriculture particularly posting a recovery of 4.8 percent growth, compared to 0.9 percent in the same period in 2013.
He also said the government had made good on its promise to accelerate spending in the last quarter, further boosting expansion.