By Madelaine B. Miraflor The Makati skyline at night. (Credits: Wikimedia Commons | Manila Bulletin File Photo) The Philippine economy expanded at its slowest pace in more than a year in the first quarter due to lack of election spending, but the government is keeping its hopes high about hitting its annual gross domestic product (GDP) target of up to 7.5 percent for the entire year. It was the slowest economic expansion since Duterte took office nearly a year ago, sending Manila’s equities down more than 1 percent and the peso to a one-week low. In the first three months of the year, the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) grew by 6.4 percent, slower than the growth of 6.6 percent recorded in the previous quarter and the 6.9-percent growth in the first quarter of 2016. “It is slower than last year because it is post-election. First quarter last year benefited from election spending and this year, for this quarter, there is no election spending,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said. He also blamed the slowdown to the inability of the government to improve fund disbursement. “The changing of the guards of the government and reorientation of programs really take time to… Read full this story
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