Philippine economic growth accelerated last quarter as government spending and manufacturing output rose, capping the best three years of expansion since the mid-1950s. Stocks rose to a record high, gross domestic product increased 6.9 percent in the three months through December from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said, beating the 5.3 percent gain in the previous quarter.
President Benigno Aquino, who steps down in June 2016, has pledged to fix spending bottlenecks and raise outlays to a record to spur growth to as much as eight percent this year and next. His efforts are receiving a boost from plunging oil prices, which are helping slow inflation and boost consumption in the emerging nations in Asia amid a cloudy global outlook.
“The key now is to accelerate infrastructure projects to expand the economy’s capacity and boost growth to the 7-8 percent level the government is targeting,” said Michael Wan, a Singapore-based economist at Credit Suisse Group AG. Low oil prices will keep inflation subdued, and “2015 should be another solid year”.
Additionally, the economy expanded 6.1 percent in 2014, compared with a 7.2 percent pace reported previously for the year earlier and 6.8 percent in 2012.