Infra spending up marginally in Feb – DBM

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INFRASTRUCTURE spending posted marginal growth in February, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported Friday.

Infrastructure and other capital expenditures rose by 1.6 percent to P35.1 billion in February from P34.3 billion a year earlier.

In the first two months of the year, the DBM said infrastructure and other capital spending grew by 8.3 percent to P69.6 billion from P64.3 billion.

“Infrastructure and other capital expenditures reached almost P70 billion, up P5.4 billion or 8.3 percent year-on-year, owing to the implementation of road infrastructure program and flood control projects of the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] as well as the P1.9 billion capital contribution to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” the DBM said.

It said line agencies are expected to spend their remaining cash allocations before expiring on the last working day of the quarter.

The government targets to spend P847 billion on infrastructure development this year, covering projects in all regions, including small-, medium- and large-scale ventures.

In the six years to 2022, the government intends to spend P8.4 trillion on infrastructure.

Chidu Narayanan, economist at Standard Chartered Bank, expects infrastructure investment to support growth this year.

“Public-sector construction momentum is likely to pick up in second half, while manufacturing growth is steady, thanks to robust domestic demand,” he said.

Earlier, Narayanan said StanChart revised upward its growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent, expecting still strong household spending and infrastructure investment to provide strong support for growth this year.

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