Manila. Philippine economic growth accelerated further in the fourth quarter after the government boosted infrastructure spending.

Gross domestic product expanded 6.4 per cent in the October to December period, picking up pace from 6 per cent in the third quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a briefing in Manila. The showing matched the median forecast among 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The recovery wasn’t enough to power GDP growth to meet the government’s 6 per cent-6.5 per cent target for all of 2019. Economic growth averaged 5.9 per cent last year, which Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said was the slowest growth in eight years.

The Philippines likely grew faster than all other major economies in the region except for Vietnam, Pernia told reporters after the data release. Growth was driven mainly by increased government spending — up 18.7 per cent in the fourth quarter — after a delay in passing the budget in the first half, he said.