Philippine economic growth short of gov’t target at 5.8 percent in 2015


MANILA — The Philippine economy grew 5.8 percent in 2015, short of even lowered government expectations.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan says Thursday that growth is “still respectable” given difficult circumstances.

He says the country faced a challenging world economy, drought from the onset of El Nino and slow government spending in the first half of the year.

The government initially forecast growth of 7-8 percent for 2015 but later lowered its target to 6-6.5 percent.

The economy expanded 6.3 percent in the last quarter of the year.

Balisacan says growth has averaged 6.2 percent in the past six years, which is the best performance since the 1970s.