MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government says damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan may reduce economic growth this year to less than 7 percent.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the government forecasts growth of between 6.5 percent and 7 percent, down from its previous estimate of 7.3 percent.
He says the economic aftermath of the typhoon, which killed more than 2,300 people in the eastern Philippines, may linger into next year. It caused widespread damage to agriculture in the worst hit areas.
Balisacan says fourth quarter growth will slow to 4.1 percent from 7.1 percent last year.
The Philippines had become one of the fastest growing countries in Asia under policies to clean up corruption and alleviate poverty.
Balisacan said rehabilitation of infrastructure such as roads, power networks and irrigation must be accelerated.