THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) will revisit its economic growth forecast for the Philippines at its annual meeting in Washington next month, its resident representative said.

“The 6% growth forecast for 2019 remains the latest,” IMF Resident Representative to the Philippines Yongzheng Yang said in an email. “We will update our forecasts in the context of the annual meetings next month.”

The annual meetings will be held in Washington this year from Oct.14 to 20. The event, which tackles economic outlook and other global economic concerns, is led by the board of governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group.

Among the participants are economic and financial leaders including finance ministers and central bankers of various countries.

Mr. Yang said the IMF would conduct its annual country surveillance in the Philippines later this year.

In July, the IMF further cut its economic growth forecast for the Philippines this year and the next due to weaker-than-expected external demand and state spending in the first half.

The multilateral lender expects the Philippine economy to grow by 6% this year, slower than the 6.5% forecast published in its World Economic Outlook report in April.

It was also slower than the 6.6% and 6.7% forecasts it made in October and September last year respectively.

The IMF also cut its 2020 growth projection to 6.3% from 6.6%. Philippine domestic product grew 6.2% last year.

The slower forecasts mainly reflect weaker-than-expected external demand and public investment, partly due to the delayed approval of the 2019 budget, it said earlier.

State primary expenditures — minus interest payments — dropped 1.94% to P1.41 trillion in the first half from P1.438 trillion a year earlier due to a four-month delay in the enactment of the national budget.

The World Economic Outlook Update released in July also showed the IMF cut economic growth projections for ASEAN-5, which groups Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, to 5% this year and 5.1% next year, down by 0.1 point each.

Global growth forecasts were also cut by 0.1 point this year and next to 3.2% and 3.5%, respectively. — Luz Wendy T. Noble