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August 22, 2008

Philippines growth to stay below 5.2% in Q2

The Philippine economy likely grew at an annual pace of less than 5.2 percent in the second quarter, below the government's estimate for the period, mainly due to the impact of high inflation, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The government said last month second quarter gross domestic product growth was expected to come in between 5.3 and 5.9 percent from a year earlier.

The Philippines will announce official second quarter economic growth data on Aug. 28.

Socio-economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto told reporters rising inflation, which averaged 7.6 percent for the first half against 5.6 percent in the first quarter, may dampen consumption.

But he said growth in the second half would be better as consumption picks up towards the end of the year, supported by higher inflows of remittances from overseas Filipino workers ahead of the Christmas holidays.

The economy grew 5.2 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier and a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent against the fourth quarter, below market expectations.

The Philippine economy expanded 7.2 percent in 2007, its strongest performance in more than three decades.

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