MANILA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised its economic growth outlook for the Philippines to 6.4 percent for 2018 and 6.7 percent for 2019 as the country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth softened unexpectedly in the first half of this year.
In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 released on Wednesday, ADB's revised outlook for the Philippines -from 6.8 percent in 2018 and 6.9 percent in 2019 - reflects a moderation in agricultural output and exports, as well as higher inflation and continued global monetary tightening.
The Philippines' inflationary pressures are expected to taper off next year as tighter domestic monetary policy begins to take effect, according to the report.
"The Philippines' growth outlook remains stable despite moderating slightly in the first half of the year, as the country's economic fundamentals are strong," said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.
"We're expecting growth to slowly pick up as public investment in infrastructure and social sectors accelerate and key economic sectors continue to perform solidly," Bird added.
The report says that domestic investment in the Philippines rose by 16.4 percent in the first half of 2018 due to healthy construction growth, while spending on industrial machinery and equipment grew by 17.1 percent.
"Growth in exports of goods and services in real terms, meanwhile, slowed to 9.8 percent from 19.5 percent over the same period last year, with electronics exports - which account for half the country's exports - easing," adds the report.
The report says that household consumption, which comprises two-thirds of GDP, grew by 5.7 percent from January to June, slightly lower than the 5.9 percent increase over the same period in 2017.
Looking ahead, ADB projects industry and services will continue to drive economic growth as agriculture recovers from an almost stagnant 0.7 percent increase in the first half of 2018, while the investment outlook remains positive for this year and next.
"The economy will benefit from the Philippine government's 'Build, Build, Build' infrastructure program, with infrastructure spending rising 47 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of 2018, the report says.