Disasters dampen Philippine economic growth in 1Q

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine officials say a major earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan dampened economic growth in the first quarter but the economy is still expected to hit its target for 2014.

The government statistics agency reported Thursday that gross domestic product expanded 5.7 percent in the first quarter, down from 7.7 percent for the same period last year and 6.3 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan says despite the disasters which occurred late last year, the economy was the third fastest growing in Asia in the first quarter, behind China's 7.4 percent and Malaysia's 6.2 percent.

He says the Philippine economy's performance indicates it will continue to expand and is expected to meet the government's growth target of 6.5-7.5 percent for the whole year.