Construction workers are pictured at the construction site of an apartment building in Pasay, Metro Manila. Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro

The second-fastest growing economy in Asia picked up the pace in the second quarter, expanding at a rate of 6.5%, above the 6.2% forecast in a Reuters poll.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the data supported his optimism that the full-year GDP expansion will settle between 6.5 percent and 7 percent.

An infrastructure drive saw public construction surge 12.0% in the quarter, from 1.9% in the first quarter, though private building slowed from 12.0% to 4.7% in the same period, according to Reuters.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez was quoted by the Inquirer as saying the data was “solid proof that the year-old administration has been making the right moves at the right time in pursuit of President Duterte’s socioeconomic agenda on high—and inclusive—growth.”