Faster infra spending in Q2 seen boosting GDP
The 37.3-percent jump in the amount spent by the government on vital infrastructure in the second quarter augured well for economic growth during the period, Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said on Wednesday.
Ahead of the government’s announcement of the second-quarter economic performance Thursday, Abad said in a briefing that infrastructure spending increased by over a third to P81.8 billion during the April to June period compared with P59.6 billion in the previous year.
Abad attributed the higher expenditures on infrastructure to a ramping up in the implementation of projects by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which saw disbursements during the second quarter at P8.8 billion above program.
At the end of the first half, the DPWH’s expenditures was P4.4 billion above the programmed amount for the first six months.
In all, second-quarter disbursements grew by 12.4 percent to P567.9 billion from P505.2 billion a year ago, as spending on infrastructure, personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) all rose year on year.
The total expenditures during the April to June period, however, was 15.2-percent below the P669.4-billion target for the quarter.
“We think [government spending in] the next quarters will be better, as many deficiencies are being addressed,” Abad said.
The Budget chief said “improvements in public spending should compensate for low figures in exports.”
Exports contracted during the months of April, May and June, bringing first-half export revenues to $28.8 billion, down 4.7 percent year-on-year.
Economists had said weak exports likely dragged the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, which was nonetheless expected to be better than the first-quarter figure.
Also on Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority revised downward to 5 percent from the previously announced 5.2 percent the first-quarter GDP growth rate, citing “downward revisions in [output of] public administration and defense, mining and quarrying, and agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing [sectors].”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.