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PH economy grows 6.9% in first quarter

The country is now the fastest growing economy in the region following the 6.9 percent growth recorded in the first quarter of the year, Malacañang proudly declared yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda welcomed the strong gross domestic product growth in the remainder of President Aquino’s term and expressed hope the next administration will sustain such economic gain.

“We welcome this morning’s announcement by the National Economic and Development Authority that our country’s GDP growth reached 6.9 percent during the first quarter of 2016,” Lacierda said in a statement.

“This is above market expectations, and is higher than the GDP recorded last quarter (6.5 percent) and also during the first quarter of 2015 (five percent). Relative to other Asian economies that have already released their first quarter 2016 GDP growth data, the Philippines is now the fastest growing economy, followed by China (6.7 percent) and Vietnam (5.5 percent),” he added.

Lacierda said the latest economic growth rate demonstrates the President’s guiding principle of leaving the country “in a far better state than when he first found it.”

The past six years were about “steering the Philippines along the Straight Path, where citizens can rest assured in a more effective, transparent, and inclusive government,” according to Lacierda.

“With our peers in the international community having acknowledged our progress, it is now up to the next administration to build on the gains we have recently achieved – so that they may further redound to our nation’s improvement, for the benefit of generations to come,” Lacierda said.

The Aquino administration will turn over a strong economy to the Duterte administration following the 6.9 percent GDP growth in the first quarter.

Citing the NEDA report, Lacierda said domestic demand continued to drive growth on the expenditure side.

The growth was further propelled by increased government spending as government agencies continued to implement and expand various social protection programs, he noted.