Philippines GDP data

MANILA: The Philippines’ economy grew a better-than-expected 6.9 per cent in the first quarter, the government said on Thursday, putting it on track to meet full year targets and making it one of Asia’s best performers for the three month period. The GDP figure beat economist forecasts of about 6.6 per cent, and marks the highest quarterly growth in the Philippines since the end of 2014. It was achieved despite a drought-ravaged farm sector and relatively weak exports, and also coincided with months of campaign spending for May 9 presidential elections, Economic Planning Secretary Emmanuel Esguerra said. The economy expanded by 5.2 per cent in the same period last year.