Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City, July 3. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN, The Philippine Star

MANILA – The Philippines missed its full year growth target after the economy lost some steam in the last quarter of the year as a contraction in government spending offset a slight rebound in domestic demand.

Gross domestic product in the fourth quarter expanded 5.6%, ahead of the 5.2% pace forecast in a Reuters poll, but slower than the 6.0% growth in the prior quarter, the statistics agency said on Wednesday.

That brought full-year growth to 5.6%, below the government’s 6.0%-7.0% target, but it still remained one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Philippine economy grew 2.1% quarter-on-quarter, above the 1.4% growth forecast in a Reuters poll, and weaker than the 3.8% pace in the third quarter.

“We need to relentlessly manage elevated prices,” National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told a media briefing.

Data showed consumption in the fourth quarter grew 5.3%, slightly better than the previous quarter’s 5.1%, while government spending contracted 1.8%, reversing the previous three month’s 6.7% growth. — Reuters