Asia

Philippines GDP grows 6.6 pct in Oct-Dec, 6.8 pct for year

Officials report the Philippine economy expanded at a 6.6 percent annual rate in October-December, the slowest pace of expansion for the year, though full-year annual growth clocked in at a relatively brisk 6.8 percent.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Thursday that robust domestic demand helped offset a contraction in agriculture, slowing government spending and wariness over President Rodrigo Duterte's administration.

The 6.8 percent expansion for the year was at the high end of the government's target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent growth. Growth in the past seven years has averaged 6.3 percent.

Brash-talking Duterte inherited a relatively vibrant economy when he took office in May. He has pledged to slash the poverty rate, but investors are wary of his swashbuckling approach to governing.