Budget delay blamed for 4-year low GDP growth, recovery seen
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday blamed the delay in the approval of the P3.7-trillion 2019 national budget for the four-year low Philippines’ economic growth.
“The 5.6% gross domestic product (GDP) growth that registered in the first quarter of 2019 was caused by the budget impasse, which has now been resolved, as well by a nearly flat agriculture output posting 0.8%, which contributes about a tenth to GDP, as a result of the adverse effects of the El Nino phenomenon,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo, however, said the government was expecting a “higher growth in the next few quarters.
He said “President Rodrigo Duterte and the Cabinet have been thoroughly briefed and apprised by our economic managers on the situation, and the Palace therefore remains confident that we will still reach our full-year 2019 economic target of 6 to 7%.’
The delay in the infrastructure program because of the budget deadlock during the first quarter, he said, “is now a thing of the past.”
Soaring inflation has been decisively addressed, he added.
“We expect higher growth in the next few quarters as the Build Build Build Infrastructure Program starts to gather steam and domestic consumption, as a result of deflation, starts to pick up,” he said.
“The economic momentum is on our side. The future looks bright despite the prophets of doom and the negative forces that try to mislead our countrymen into believing an opposite outlook, who however refuse to bite.” /gsg
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