The Philippine economy expanded 7.2 percent in 2013 despite the havoc wrought in the last months of the year by a super typhoon, an earthquake and a weekslong gun battle that shut down a major port city, AP reported.
Even then, the Philippines was the second best performing economy in Asia after China in the fourth quarter, growing 6.5 percent from a year earlier, officials said.
Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Thursday the performance would have been better if not for the natural disasters and a nearly monthlong gunbattle between government troops and militants that shut down a major southern city.
Balisacan said services and industry were the main drivers of growth that was also supported by sustained consumer and government spending.
"This is a remarkable turn out," Balisacan said. "The economy grew better than our expected target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent for 2013 despite the challenges we faced during the year."