MANILA -- Growth in the Philippine economy will finish on a "strong note" this year, as budget data shows that government is moving to put spending back on track, an economist said Friday.
Of the P1.69 billion that was released by the the Department of Budget and Management as of end July, 93 percent or P1.57 billion was utilized, compared to 73 percent utilization during the same period in 2018, ING Bank economist Nicholas Mapa said.
Gross domestic product growth slowed further to 5.5 percent in the April to June period due to the delay in the passage of the 2019 budget.
"With sputtering growth tagged to massive government underspending, the administration appears to have cracked the whip to get the funds out and back into the economy," Mapa said in a statement.
"With the latest DBM release showing the government’s resolve to boost growth via expenditures, we can expect growth to finish the year on a strong note," he said.
Historically, public construction performed "quite well" in the second half of the last 3 years, notwithstanding the onslaught of typhoon season, Mapa said.
Interest rate cuts by the Bangko Sentral, cooling inflation and strong domestic consumption will also help revive the growth momentum in the remainder of 2019, he said.