Philippine Economy 2010 Posts Record Performance

The country's economy grew 7.3 percent in 2010 -- the highest in more than two decades -- the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported.

The NSCB said that the Philippine's record economic growth was influenced mainly by the world economy recovering from the global financial crisis.

"The global economic recovery which resulted in record growth rates of foreign trade contributed to an economic performance in 2010 that well surpassed the government's target of 5 percent to 6 percent," it said.

Meanwhile, in 2009, the economy grew at just 0.9 percent, the NSCB noted.

The strong growth last year came during a period of peaceful political transition when President Benigno Aquino III succeeded then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, it said.

Likewise, millions of Filipinos working abroad yielded higher remittances all year round, it added.

Moreover, the board said the conduct of the national elections in 2010 pumped extra money into the economy in the second quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, a report by the AFP news agency cited John Forbes -- an investment advisor with the local American Chamber of Commerce -- as saying that the promise of further political stability during Aquino's six-year term offered hope for a sustained period of strong growth.

The advisor cited Aquino's anti-corruption campaign, social welfare spending and multi-billion-dollar infrastructure upgrade plans as other reasons to believe the Philippines could finally start to match its dynamic Asian neighbours, it reported.

"What this figure (2010 GDP growth) demonstrates is the potential of the Philippine economy to grow almost twice as fast (as 5.0 percent)," Forbes was quoted in saying. (PIA-NCR/Jerome Carlo Paunan)

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