By Chino Leyco
The country’s economy grew by 6.6 percent in the final three months last year, matching that of the expansion rate registered in the same period in 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said today.
According to the PSA, the main growth drivers in the fourth quarter were manufacturing, trade, real estate, renting, and business activities.
Among the major economic sectors, industry had the fastest growth of 7.3 percent followed by services which grew by 6.8 percent.
Meanwhile, agriculture increased 2.4 percent, rebounding from a 1.3 percent decline in the same quarter in the previous year.
The fourth-quarter growth brought the country’s full year gross domestic product (GDP) to 6.7 percent, within the Duterte administration’s target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the Philippines remained one of the fastest growing economies in Asia last year, next to China’s 6.9 percent and Vietnam’s 6.8 percent.
Pernia also said the government is determined to further accelerate the country’s GDP this year to meet its target of about 7 percent to 8 percent.