President Benigno S. Aquino III tours the exhibit area upon arrival for the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Membership Meeting and launch of Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Program at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City on Monday (September 08). The event aims to rally PBSP members and other Mindanao companies around the idea of inclusive business on priority industries: coffee, cacao, corn, palm oil and rubber, as well as possible investments in Bangsamoro. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III tours the exhibit area upon arrival for the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Membership Meeting and launch of Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Program at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, Davao City on Monday (September 08). The event aims to rally PBSP members and other Mindanao companies around the idea of inclusive business on priority industries: coffee, cacao, corn, palm oil and rubber, as well as possible investments in Bangsamoro. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The slowdown in inflation in September will help boost the country’s economic growth in the second semester of the year, Finance Usec. and Chief Economist Gil Beltran said Thursday.

Beltran said the easing inflation allows the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to maintain its interest rates, which in turn will lead to more economic activities.

“The economy successfully reversed inflationary expectations through a decisive reduction in food inflation in September. This favorable development will enable the BSP to avoid further tightening of monetary policy and will enable the attainment of a higher GDP growth rate in the second semester,” Beltran said in a statement.

Beltran noted that the departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry “should continue streamlining the delivery of products to the markets and should act more decisively if there are factors that constrain the process.”

He added that government should implement longer-term solutions to congestion issues at the Manila ports.

The country’s inflation rate slowed down to 4.4 percent in September from 4.9 percent in August due to lower food and utility costs.

The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have lowered their respective economic growth forecasts for the Philippines following the country’s slow growth in the first half of the year.

In the first six months of 2014, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by only 6 percent, the slowest in eight consecutive quarters.

The growth rate was also below the government’s growth target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.(MNS)