January 24, 2019 / 3:07 AM / 4 months ago

Philippines fourth-quarter GDP grows less than expected at 6.1 percent

Workers install steel rods to fortify the foundation at a construction area, high on top of a building in Makati City, metro Manila, Philippines January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco/Files

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine economy grew slightly faster in the fourth quarter of last year, but the pace lagged market expectations in the face of weak exports, the statistics agency said on Thursday.

Annual growth in the fourth quarter was 6.1 percent, picking up slightly from the previous quarter’s downwardly revised 6.0 percent expansion but less than the 6.2 percent forecast in a Reuters poll.

The fourth-quarter pace took full-year 2018 growth to 6.2 percent, below the government’s downwardly revised target of 6.5-6.9 percent, and the slowest rate of expansion in three years.

For 2017, the government reported growth of 6.7 percent.

Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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