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Philippine GDP soars to 20-year high of 7.3 pct

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MANILA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine economy expanded to 7.3 percent in 2010 thanks to the robust growth in its manufacturing and services sectors, officials said Monday.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) said that the growth registered in 2010 was the highest in over 20 years.

The industry sector soared by 12.1 percent, while the services sector rose by 7.1 percent. The El Nino-induced dryspell, however, weigh on the agriculture sector, contracting by 0.5 percent.

"Despite the El Nino and the diminished government spending during the second semester, the domestic economy sizzled to its highest annual GDP growth" NSCB Secretary General Romulo Virola said in a press briefing.

Virola said the global economic recovery boosted manufacturing and exports growth, while the May national elections increased consumer spending.

"The peaceful conduct of the national elections and the renewed trust in government contributed to an economic performance in 2010 that well surpassed the government's target of 5.0 percent to 6.0 percent," he said.

In the fourth quarter alone, the GDP grew 7.1 percent. This was mainly supported by the industry and services sectors that expanded strongly in the last quarter of 2010.

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