Is Asia's shining economic star losing its luster?

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The Philippines, a shining star among Asia's emerging markets, saw its weakest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in three years in the third quarter, raising questions about whether the economy's best days are behind it.

The economy expanded just 5.3 percent on year in the July-September quarter, undershooting economists' forecasts for 6.5 percent growth and down from 6.4 percent in the previous three months.

The slowdown was driven by a 2.6 percent on-year decline in government spending, which offset strength in manufacturing, exports and consumption.

Potential for recovery

"Although the data is clearly disappointing…there is no reason to think that the strong run of the Philippines' economy is coming to an end," said Daniel Martin, Asia economist at Capital Economics.

There are several reasons to expect some recovery over the coming quarters, said Martin.

Read MoreInvestors will wake up to Philippines 'pretty soon: Central bank

Government spending is unlikely to continue pulling down growth, given that public finances are healthy, he said. Meanwhile, cooling inflation and buoyant remittances will bolster consumer spending.

Furthermore, exports, which surged almost 10 percent on year in the third quarter, should continue to perform well as global demand recovers.

Downside risks

Michael Wan, economist at Credit Suisse, however, is less optimistic, forecasting a further slowdown next year.

The economy's trend growth is moving towards 5.5-6 percent, he said, a notable deceleration from the 7.2 percent growth rate seen last year.

Part of the reason for the slowdown is cyclical, said Wan, noting that high growth rates in the year following the global financial crisis were supported by the central bank's accommodative monetary policy, which is now turning tighter.

Read MoreThe grim side of Philippines' growth story

In recent months, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has raised interest rates and introduced measures aimed at cooling the property market. "We'll probably see a bigger impact of that in 2015," he said.

The central bank is expected to resume gradual tightening in the second half of 2015, as it takes its cue from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

On top of this, he expects public spending to remain restrained due to the 2013 "pork barrel" scam.

Read MorePhilippines unlikely to meet full-year growth goal

In 2013, three senators, several officials and a businesswoman were accused of misusing the bulk of $220 million in discretionary funds or entrusted to lawmakers, according to the Wall Street Journal. The scandal had a negative impact on President Benigno Aquino's administration and led to more conservative government expenditure.

"Currently, I'm forecasting growth of 6.3 percent in 2014, and 6 percent in 2015, but risks are to the downside," said Wan.

ANZ also said it sees downside risks to its forecast for growth of 6.2 percent in 2014 and 6.3 percent in 2015.

"With a [year-to-date] growth average of 5.8 percent, the economy would struggle to reach even 6.0 percent for full year 2014. We do not expect the government to achieve its 6.5 percent-7.5 percent growth target for this year," said Eugenia Fabon Victorino, economist, ASEAN & Pacific at ANZ.