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Philippine economy grows 7.5 pct in 2nd quarter

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippine economy has expanded 7.5 percent in the second quarter, still one of Asia's fastest growing countries despite challenges that include excessive capital outflows.

The National Statistical Board said Thursday that services remained the main growth contributor, led by trade and real estate.

The GDP expanded a revised 7.7 percent in the first quarter. The latest figures bring first-half growth to 7.6 percent, the highest since reformist President Benigno Aquino III took office in 2010 with a promise to fight corruption and reduce poverty.

The Philippine stock exchange and the local currency have taken a beating recently as investors pull out of emerging markets. Regional economies have slowed on worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut its stimulus program.