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ADB cuts PH 2019 growth forecast to 6.2 percent

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ADB cuts PH 2019 growth forecast to 6.2 percent

By Leslie Gatpolintan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slightly reduced its economic growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.2 percent this year but maintained at 6.4 percent its forecast for 2020, noting that the country remains among Southeast Asia’s top economies.

The Asian Development Outlook Supplement report released Thursday, July 18, cited the government underspending resulting from delayed passage of the national budget that moderated economic growth to 5.6 percent in the first quarter.

The report said public construction contracted while growth in government consumption eased in January to March period.

Growth in exports of goods and services also slowed as a result of lackluster global trade and economic activity and the downturn in the electronics cycle. These effects were partly offset by higher household consumption and private investment, it said.

“Public investment is expected to rebound in the second half of 2019 following budget approval in April and to pick up next year as more infrastructure projects come onstream. Slowing inflation, low unemployment, and steady remittances will continue to support household consumption,” it added.

The multilateral lender earlier projected a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.4 percent for this year.

The ADB also revised its inflation forecast for the Philippines from 3.8 percent to 3 percent this year, considering lower food prices.

Inflation in the country slowed down to 2.7 percent in June 2019, averaging 3.4 percent in the first half.

Rice prices have declined on improved supply since the lifting of quantitative restrictions on rice imports in February 2019.

“The inflation forecast for 2020 is maintained at 3.5 percent with an expected pickup in global commodity prices,” the ADB added. (First published by PNA, July 18, 2019)

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