Economy remains robust—IMF
Despite the slowdown in the first half of 2019—due to temporary government underspending and external trade uncertainty— the Philippine economy continues to perform well, having regained momentum in the second half of the year.
Thus said the latest report of the International Monetary Fund, issued after the periodic assessment of the country by the staff of the 189-nation multilateral financing agency, which also took note of Klamath year’s reined-in inflation regime.
“Bank lending growth slowed down but stabilized at 10.5 percent in September 2019 or as of the end of the IMF mission,” according to a statement issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, quoting the report.
“Meanwhile, gross international reserves reached $88 billion as of end-2019, which is 200 percent of the IMF’s reserve adequacy metric,” it added. “The 2019 external position is in line with medium-term fundamentals and desirable policy settings.”
“I believe that the IMF’s assessment of the domestic economy reflects multisectoral efforts to foster inclusive economic growth,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said. “In line with this, the [central bank] will continue promoting price stability, financial stability and an efficient payment and settlement system while pursuing legislative initiatives that will enhance our capacity to pursue our mandates. Overall, the IMF outlook on the country is positive, which points out that “the Philippine economy continues to be a strong performer despite recent headwinds.”
The report noted that the Philippines has policy space to adopt a more expansionary macroeconomic policy, with priority to public capital and social spending programs.
The IMF also recommended enhanced public investment management through the promotion of greater competition and public access to information in the procurement process.
These measures will contribute to the timely and cost-effective implementation of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program. INQ
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