PH economy grows 6.5% in Q2

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Increased government spending contributed to the 6.5-percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the economy for the second quarter of 2017, economic officials said Thursday.

Last quarter's growth followed China's 6.9-percent growth, but overtaken Vietnam's 6.2 percent and Indonesia's 5-percent growth rates during the period.

The first-half 2017 figure fell short of the full-year target set by the government at 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

Industry recorded the fastest growth at 7.3 percent while services slowed down to 6.1 percent from 8.2 percent in the same quarter past year, the PSA said in a separate statement.

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On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP expanded 1.7 percent, above the 1.6 percent growth projected in a Reuters poll, and faster than the previous quarter's upwardly revised 1.3 percent.

The peso was steady after the GDP report, though markets remain focused on the currency's outlook following a sharp slide.

"We are optimistic that the accelerated state spending and project implementation would keep the Philippines in the club of Asia's fastest-growing economies", Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement.

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