Philippines has 'good chance' of meeting 2019 GDP growth target: ING


Posted at Oct 28 2019 10:37 AM | Updated as of Oct 28 2019 10:49 AM

Philippines has 'good chance' of meeting 2019 GDP growth target: ING 1
Construction workers climb metal rebars at a construction site in Ortigas, Pasig on October 17, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Philippines has a "good chance" of meeting its economic growth target for 2019, on the back of strong consumption, government spending and looser monetary policy, an economist said Monday.

The country’s GDP needs to grow at an average of at least 6.3 percent in the second half to reach the lower end of the government’s 6 to 7 percent target, ING economist Nicholas Mapa said.

Gross domestic product grew 5.5 percent in the second quarter, its lowest in 4 years partly due to the delayed passage of the 2019 budget that hit public spending spending.

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“From the way they’ve been spending at least in September, it looks like they got a good chance to get their target. Just seeing the government numbers…gives us a strong push towards the end of the year,” Mapa said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' monetary policy adjustments can also help "reignite investment momentum," Mapa said. The BSP cut the benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points this year, bringing it to 4 percent.

The central bank may be "done" cutting policy rates this year but a 50-basis point rate cut is expected in 2020, Mapa said.