UPDATE 1-Philippines sees Q4 GDP up 0.6-1.6 pct on year

* Manila sees 2009 GDP up 0.7-1.0 pct vs 0.8-1.8 pct goal

* Says maintaining 2010 GDP growth goal of 2.6-3.6 pct

* Says to continue stimulus spending
(Adds official’s quotes, background)

MANILA, Jan 26 (BestGrowthStock) – The Philippine economy likely
rose an annual 0.6-1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, bringing
growth for 2009 near the low end of the government’s goal due
to slower farm and manufacturing output, the economic planning
chief said on Tuesday.

Augusto Santos told a news briefing the fourth quarter
estimate probably brought average growth for 2009 to 0.7 to 1.0
percent. Manila was targeting GDP to rise between 0.8 and 1.8
percent last year.

The government will release official fourth-quarter GDP
data on Thursday.

Weak output from the farm and manufacturing sectors, the
result of natural disasters and the global recession, weighed
on overall economic growth in the past quarter, Santos said.

Farm production shrank 2.4 percent in October-December from
a year earlier after strong typhoons ravaged crops, the
agriculture department said last week. [ID:nMNA002565]

Santos said the government was sticking to its 2010 GDP
growth target of 2.6-3.6 percent but may review the numbers at
a meeting by economic managers after the release of 2009 growth
data on Thursday.

“For 2010, we will not really be abandoning the stimulus
package. We will continue with stimulus spending although at a
reduced scale compared to 2009,” he said.

The stimulus spending notwithstanding, inflation this year
should stay within the central bank’s target of 3.5-5.5
percent, said Santos. Inflation averaged 3.2 percent in 2009.

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(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Rosemarie
Francisco and Jerry Norton)

UPDATE 1-Philippines sees Q4 GDP up 0.6-1.6 pct on year