ADB maintains 2019 PH growth outlook at 6%
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday kept its Philippine economic growth forecast for this year and next, encouraged by an increase in state spending and strong private consumption.
In its December 2019 Asian Development Outlook Supplement, the Manila-based multilateral lender retained its projections at 6.0 percent for 2019 and 6.2 percent for 2022.
“GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the Philippines picked up to 6.2 percent in Q3 (third quarter), boosting growth in the first three quarters to 5.8 percent,” the report said.
“The pickup was supported by a rebound in government expenditure, particularly on infrastructure.”
The report also said sustained robust private consumption, which grew by 5.8 percent in the January-to-October period, contributed the most to growth.
“Investment declined by 0.8 percent following brisk 16.5-percent growth in the same period of last year, as buoyant construction was mostly offset by lower investment in transport equipment and machinery,” the ADB said.
“Weaker external demand trimmed export growth, with imports also easing in line with subdued demand for materials for export-oriented manufacturing,” it added.
“GDP growth is seen accelerating in Q4 (fourth quarter) of 2019 and throughout 2020, supported by investment as more infrastructure projects come onstream. Accommodative fiscal and monetary policies will support domestic demand.”
Meanwhile, the ADB lowered its growth projection for Southeast Asia from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent. It kept its 2020 forecast at 4.7 percent.
The downward revision was attributed to the likely slower growth in Singapore and Thailand.
The ADB also maintained the Philippines’ inflation forecast to 2.6 percent for this year and 3.0 percent for 2020.
It kept its inflation projection for Southeast Asia at 2.3 percent for 2019 and 2.6 percent next year.