Growth picked up in Q4 ’19: Report

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    The economy may have expanded at a faster pace in the fourth quarter of 2019 following positive figures for the recent employment and poverty data.

    This according to the Market Call, a monthly report published by First Metro Investment Corp. and the University of Asia and the Pacific capital markets research.

    “Recent economic indicators point to a stronger Q4 and on 2020, with positive employment print and poverty data indicating better investment numbers for the last quarter of 2019.

    Household consumption would still benefit from this, softer inflation (on average) and low interest rates,” the report, which was released yesterday, said.

    “The national government will continue to ramp up infrastructure spending amidst the still-large fiscal space. Moreover, the private sector (because of public private partnership, robust residential and commercial building demand) should further drive capital goods investment,” it added.

    The government previously reported that the Philippine economy expanded by
    6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019, the fastest growth recorded so far during the said year.

    The interagency Development Budget Coordination Committee said late last year gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected at six to 6.5 percent in 2019 and 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2020 to 2022.

    Last month, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s unemployment and underemployment rates in October 2019 fell to their lowest levels since 2005.

    The same agency reported that poverty incidence dropped to 16.6 percent of the population in 2018 from 23.3 percent in 2015, translating to a poverty reduction rate of 2.23 percentage points per annum.

    “Continuing strength in employment gains and the sharp reduction in poverty rates have given us more reason for optimism for faster GDP growth in Q4 and into 2020. Not only did unemployment and underemployment rates fall to record lows, Q4 also added 193,000 jobs from already elevated employment levels in Q3,” the report said.

    “This, together with an expected strong rebound in infrastructure and capital outlays in the last two months of 2019, should boost investment spending in Q4,” it added.

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