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Philippines Estimates Impact of Storm Bopha to be Felt Next Year

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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippine government estimates the economic impact of storm Bopha at 32 billion pesos ($780 million) or about 0.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

The amount includes production losses, foregone revenues and damage to infrastructure and crops, Balisacan said in a briefing in Manila today. The storm’s impact will be minimal in the fourth quarter, with its effect felt in 2013, he said.

Storm Bopha struck the Philippines earlier this month, killing more than 1,000 people after rains caused landslides and floods. The government may spend 10 billion pesos on reconstruction in the affected areas, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said yesterday.

The economy may expand 6.5 percent this year, with third-quarter growth of 7.1 percent probably sustained in the October-December period, Balisacan said. Construction will grow robustly next year, he said, even as an elevated peso threatens competitiveness.

The peso has gained almost 7 percent this year, the best performer after the South Korean won among Asia’s 11 most-widely traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporters on this story: Karl Lester M. Yap in Manila at kyap5@bloomberg.net; Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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