Philippine Economy Grows 5.5% First Quarter

Surpassing last year's growth of 4.2% for the same time period, the Philippine economy grew 5.5% in the first quarter of 2006. The results boosted confidence of robust growth for the whole of the year despite looming external threats, officials added.

The industrial sector rose 5.5%, up from 3.4%.

Victor Abola, an economist at the Manila-based University of Asia and the Pacific said GDP would likely grow at a steady pace of 5% this year due to the impact of high oil prices. "I'm cautiously optimistic about the economy's performance this year. I'm looking at a full-year growth of 5% but actual growth could be lower because high oil prices could impact on the purchasing power of Filipinos in the coming months," Abola said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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