The Philippine economy rebounded more strongly than expected in the final quarter of last year, posting the best growth in Asia after China on strong farm output and construction activity.
The better-than-expected performance puts it on course for solid growth this year and cements expectations the central bank will leave policy rates on hold for some time.
Fourth quarter GDP grew a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent over the prior three months, the best quarterly pace in Asia and above expectations of 1.7 percent. Growth picked up from an upwardly revised 0.7 percent expansion in the September quarter.
Southeast Asia's fifth-biggest economy grew 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, far exceeding economists' expectations of 6.0 percent and the strongest in more than a year. That brought growth for the full-year to 6.1 percent, also above market forecasts.