Philippines 'highly likely' to hit 6.5-7.5% growth target for 2017: Minister

A group of Metro Manila Development Authority employees washing dishes following a communal lunch as traffic is seen past Manila's financial district in the background.
A group of Metro Manila Development Authority employees washing dishes following a communal lunch as traffic is seen past Manila's financial district in the background.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines is "highly likely" to achieve its 6.5-7.5 per cent economic growth target this year, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Thursday (Jan 26).

"The government will remain steadfast in its work and make sure economic growth is built on people-centered and people-powered policies, stable macroeconomic fundamentals and strong partnership with other countries," Mr Pernia told a media briefing.

The Philippine economy grew a better-than-expected 6.6 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, the national statistics agency said on Thursday, bringing full-year growth for 2016 to 6.8 per cent.

Annual growth was 7 per cent in the September quarter.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the economy would expand an annual 6.5 per cent in the last three months of 2016.

Growth for October-December on a quarterly basis will be released later. The median forecast in the poll was for the economy to have expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.6 per cent, picking up from 1.2 per cent in the previous quarter.