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Philippines growth hits 7.8 per cent

MANILA: The Philippines posted surprisingly strong growth of 7.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year, official data showed yesterday, cementing its status as one of Asia's most dynamic economies.

The expansion was the fastest since President Benigno Aquino came to power in 2010, and boosted hopes that one of the region's perennial underachievers had entered a sustained phase of rapid growth.

The growth rate for the Philippines from January to March was the fastest in Asia, surpassing even regional powerhouse China, which grew by 7.7pc in the same period.

The industrial sector grew by 10.9pc in the first quarter of this year, with local manufacturing expanding by 9.7pc. The services sector grew by 7pc.

The government is confident of achieving 7-8pc growth rates by the end of Aquino's term in 2016, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.



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