MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter at 7.1 percent from the same period a year ago, cementing the country's chance of achieving its full-year growth target of 6 to 7 percent, officials said Thursday.
A rise in food manufacturing, a rebound in the agricultural sector after five consecutive quarters of decline, a jump in private investments in construction and expansion in public construction fueled the expansion, they added. The growth rate is above the 6.2 percent rise in gross domestic product in the third quarter last year, and the 7 percent expansion in the first half of 2016.
Reynaldo Cancio, a director of the National Economic Development Authority, said the growth was above median market expectation of 6.8 percent and higher than major Asian economies that have released third-quarter data so far, including China's 6.7 percent third-quarter growth.
"This cements our chance of achieving our target of 6 to 7 percent for the whole of 2016," he said.
He said the economy needs to only attain at least 3.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter to attain the low end of its growth target of 6 percent for the year and to grow by 6.9 percent to attain 7 percent.