Gross domestic product expanded 6.4%
in the October to December period, picking up pace from 6% in the third
quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in a briefing in Manila.
The showing matched the median forecast among 23 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
The recovery wasn’t enough to power GDP growth to meet the government’s 6%-6.5% target for all of 2019. Economic growth averaged 5.9% last year.
A delay in passing the national
budget in 2019 limited government spending and weighed on GDP growth in the
first half of the year.
Spending has since rebounded, particularly for infrastructure projects, and is expected to continue after the government extended the validity of last year’s spending plan and approved the 2020 budget on time.
The Philippine central bank is prepared to cut its key interest rate by another 25 basis points in the first quarter of the year, despite inflation quickening in December, Governor Benjamin Diokno said Jan. 7.
The ongoing eruption of Taal volcano near Manila is not expected to dent economic growth in the first quarter, with farm and property damage limited to surrounding towns, Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Jan. 15.