Philippine economy expands 7.2 percent in 2013, disasters hit 4Q

Philippine officials say the country's economy expanded 7.2 percent in 2013 despite the havoc wrought by a super typhoon and an earthquake in the last three months of the year.

Even then, officials said the Philippines was the second best performing economy in Asia after China in the fourth quarter.

Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Thursday the Philippines posted 6.5 percent growth in gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

He says its performance could have been better if not for the major disasters and a nearly monthlong gunbattle between government troops and Muslim rebels that shut down a major southern city.

Balisacan says services and industry were the main drivers of growth that was also supported by sustained consumer and government spending.