By Dow Jones Business News,
January 29, 2014, 10:35:00 PM EDT
MANILA--The Philippines' position as one of Asia's fastest-growing economies was cemented as gross domestic product
continued to expand strongly in the fourth quarter despite a series of natural disasters.
GDP in the fourth quarter rose 6.5% on year, the second fastest in Asia after China and ahead of the 6.0% median
forecast of 11 economists from a poll by The Wall Street Journal.
Although slower then the revised 6.9% on year growth in the third quarter, GDP in the fourth quarter still expanded
1.5% from the previous three months and lifted GDP growth for 2013 to 7.2%.
"This is a remarkable turnout," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said as he announced last year's
economic performance. "The economy grew better than our target of 6.0%-7.0% for 2013 despite the challenges we faced
during the year, particularly the disasters that struck the central and southern Philippines in the fourth quarter.
Indeed, growth could have been better" if not for earthquakes, typhoons and the siege of Zamboanga City, he added.
He said services and industry supported the economy as agricultural production was undermined by a series of typhoons,
including Typhoon Haiyan that destroyed rice fields, coconut plantations and fishing boats.
In the fourth quarter, the services sector expanded 6.5% on year, industry grew 8.9% on year while agriculture was up
1.1% on year.
Mr. Balisacan said the impact of recent disasters will be more pronounced in the first quarter of 2014, but the
government remains confident the recovery in the global economy and reconstruction efforts in devastated areas will
guide the economy toward the target growth of 6.5%-7.5% for this year.
"We are optimistic that the Philippine economy will remain strong in 2014," he added.
Write to Cris Larano at email@example.com
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
This article appears in: