The Philippine economy grew 6.6 percent last year — beating the expectations of the market, lending institutions and even the government itself — driven by the services, trade, real estate and construction sectors.
In a briefing on Thursday, NSCB chief Jose Ramon Albert announced that output for the fourth quarter hit 6.8 percent, pushing the full-year gross domestic product (GDP) beyond the government's 5 to 6 percent growth expectations for 2012.
The full-year 2012 figure was significantly higher than 2011's 3.7 percent and was slightly higher than the National Economic and Development Authority's (NEDA) 6.5 percent GDP growth expectation.
It was also higher than the market's media forecast of 6.2 percent as shown in a GMA News Online poll.
"The increase was fueled by the robust performance of the services sector led by trade and real estate, renting and business activities as well as the substantial improvements of manufacturing and construction," the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) noted in a separate statement.
"On the demand side, household final consumption expenditure together with government spending, the recovery of capital formation and the remarkable performance of the external trade contributed to the healthy growth of the economy in the fourth quarter and the whole year of 2012," it added.