MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has maintained its economic outlook for the Philippines this year and next year even after the economy picked up steam in the third quarter.

In its Asian Development Outlook Supplement released Wednesday, the Manila-based bank said growth forecasts remained at 6 percent for 2019 and 6.2 percent for 2020.

“GDP (gross domestic product) growth is seen accelerating in fourth quarter of 2019 and throughout 2020, supported by investment as more infrastructure projects come onstream. Accommodative fiscal and monetary policies will support domestic demand,” it said.

The domestic economy, as measured by GDP, grew to 6.2 percent in July to September, bringing average growth in the first three quarters to 5.8 percent.

The pickup was supported by a rebound in government expenditure, particularly on infrastructure; and sustained robust private consumption.

The Philippine economy expanded at a slower pace of 5.5 percent in the second quarter due to the continuing effect of about four-month delay in the passage of the 2019 budget, coupled with the ban on public works and other spending leading up to the May elections. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the 2019 budget only in April.

The ADB maintained its growth projection for the Philippines while it revised down slightly growth forecast for Southeast Asia this year and 2020 given economic weakening in Singapore and Thailand.

Meanwhile, the Bank also kept its inflation forecasts for the Philippines at 2.6 percent this year and 3 percent for 2020.

The average inflation in the first 11 months of the year stood at 2.5 percent, still within the government’s 2 to 4-percent target band. (PNA)