The Roxas Boulevard skyline in the early evening. (Yen Baet)

Looks like economy is beginning to be really more fun in the Philippines.

This, as the Philippine economy exceeds expectations by expanding by 7.8 percent in the first quarter, a growth a Cabinet official says was among the fastest in the region.

The country's gross domestic product spike from January to March was the highest recorded in the Aquino administration, and the third consecutive quarter that registered above 7 percent growth.

It was also an acceleration from the 6.5-percent growth the economy posted a year ago. The Philippines in 2012 expanded by a surprise 6.6 percent.

Robust first-quarter growth was driven by strong performance in the manufacturing and construction sectors, Statistics Chief Jose Ramon Albert said in a statement.

Albert also cited high consumer and government spending, bigger investments in infrastructure, as well as sweeping financial and trade reforms as contributors.

The country's growth was the "highest among the major East and Southeast Asian economies," including that of China, Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Arsenio Balisacan said.

PH's growth topped that of Indonesia (6.0 percent), Thailand (5.3 percent), Vietnam (4.9 percent). China grew by 7.7 percent in the first quarter.

While welcoming the robust first-quarter performance, Balisacan said the government should be vigilant against downside risks, as well as be able to address constraints to the growth momentum.

Sustaining growth in sectors with high potential and allowing the poor to tap into growth centers should also be among the top government priorities.

Linking economic growth to job creation and productivity, the Cabinet official said that the government will put emphasis on innovation, technology and research and development.

"What all these demands is a greater sense of urgency among us in government as well as better coordination between and among the various agencies..." Balisacan said.

He also urged the business sector to expand their interests and generate more jobs amid, noting the opportunity presented by a recent investment frade rating from global debt watchers Fitch and Standard and Poor's.

"We remain positive in our outlook and we will translate this into positive action to achieve inclusive growth," Balisacan said.

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