Philippine economic growth likely rebounded in the third quarter after a weak performance in the previous three months, supported by higher government spending, a Reuters poll showed, allowing the central bank to pause after a raft of policy-easing steps.
The median forecast from 11 economists was for an annual growth of 6.0% in July-September, a moderate rise from the previous quarter’s 5.5% annual pace, as slowing inflation and strong remittances also likely gave domestic demand a boost.
“The economy is seen gradually gaining traction as growth drivers recover,” said Jiaxin Lu, economist at Continuum Economics, citing the pick-up in government expenditures and household consumption.
Efforts by the government to catch up with its spending, after months of tepid infrastructure spending due to a delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget, appeared to be paying off with expenditures up 39% in September from last year.
However, more needs to be done as spending in the nine months ended September fell 2.1% short of the government’s program. The country’s third-quarter gross domestic product data will be released on Nov. 7, ahead of the central bank’s policy meeting on Nov. 14, its second last for the year.