Philippines cuts growth targets for two years
MANILA • The Philippines yesterday cut its growth targets for this year and next, but vowed to spur activity in one of Asia's fastest-growing economies by spending more on infrastructure.
The economy is now expected to grow 6-7 per cent this year, from the previous forecast of 6.8-7.8 per cent, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno told a media briefing.
Weak farm output due to drought and external headwinds were expected to drag down overall growth into next year, he said.
The government is targeting a national budget of 3.3 trillion pesos (S$94.6 billion) next year, up from 3.002 trillion pesos for this year.
Annual inflation quickened to 1.9 per cent in June, the fastest pace in more than a year, due to higher costs of food, fuel and school fees, according to official data released yesterday.
Australia's central bank puts cash rate on hold
SYDNEY • Australia's central bank stood pat on interest rates, remaining impervious to the country's unclear election result, as it awaits inflation data due later this month to assess its next move.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens and his board left the cash rate at 1.75 per cent yesterday.
For the second time in six years, Australia is coming to terms with an election that failed to produce a decisive majority, even as a weaker currency and record-low rates boost growth and hold unemployment below RBA forecasts.
Between the political limbo, core inflation and wage growth at record lows and a stronger Aussie dollar since last month, the possibility of another cut after the second-quarter inflation report is released on July 27 is real.