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Philippine GDP grows 6.9% in Q3, beyond market consensus

The Philippine economy grew by 6.9 percent in the third quarter of the year, higher than a market consensus of 6.6 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday.

The latest figure compares with the upward-revised 6.7 percent in the second quarter and the downward-revised 7.0 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia cited an improvement in exports.

“Our net exports grew very fast during the third quarter, and improvement in public spending which then boosted the manufacturing sector and the services sector,” Pernia said in a briefing in Pasig City.

"Industry recorded the fastest growth of 7.5 percent while services expanded by 7.1 percent and agriculture grew by 2.5 percent," National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales said in a briefing in Pasig City.

The government expects the economy to grow by 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2017.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in the same briefing the government is optimistic it will meet its economic growth target of 6.5-7.5 percent for this year, according to a separate report by Reuters.

The Philippine economy, one of the fastest growing in Asia, expanded by a quicker than forecast 6.9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier.

Pernia said the country is expected to be one of fastest growing economies in the region.

"We are likely to rank second in Asia, next only to Vietnam at 7.5 percent, and ahead of China's 6.8 percent and Indonesia's 5.1 percent," he said.

"We are on track to meeting the full-year target range," Pernia said.

His main concern now revolves on the weather, saying conditions in the last three months of the year could dampen growth. "The usual risks would be weather disturbances. Some typhoons come late in the year. They're likely to be risks," the Cabinet official noted.

"We expect, though, that—ceteris paribus—the balance of growth of the fourth-quarter GDP will be higher or at least match the third quarter's performance," he added. — VDS, GMA News