The Philippine economy could still post a strong full-year growth despite the expected impact of weather disturbances, an analyst said Tuesday.
In a text message, Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist of BDO said that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) could still expand by at least seven percent this year even with the impact of torrential rains or habagat that battered the Philippines this week.
However, Ravelas admitted that the habagat could affect the third quarter performance of the economy.
“Potential damages from this habagat could put a dent on the third quarter growth on destruction of property, loss of crops,” he said.
University of Santo Tomas economic professor Dr. Alvin Ang also sees a strong 2013 growth for the Philippines.
“Last year we had the same problem but we had strong GDP, hopefully the losses in agriculture will be compensated,” Ang said referring to the impact of typhoons in the agriculture sector in 2012.
The agriculture sector had posted 2.92-percent growth last year despite the weather disturbances that struck the country.
For his part, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that “it is too early to tell” if the series of weather disturbances could impact the country’s gross domestic product growth.
“We don’t know much yet about the extent of damage, particularly in the agriculture,” said Balsacan, who is also the head of the National Economic and Development Authority.
On the other hand, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said that the extent of the damage to crops and disruptions to economic activity have to be ascertained yet.
“It will thus be difficult to quantify at this point the full impact of typhoon Maring on both economic growth and inflation,” he said.
However, Tetangco said that based on the experiences of recent typhoons, including Ondoy, the impact of Maring could be “one-off, transitory and limited.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier statement, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima noted the importance of the continued focus on the fundamentals of the economy for sustainable growth.
“It’s important that we continue to focus of the fundamentals such as collecting more taxes, building more and better infrastructure so that we can sustain the higher levels of growth that we are experiencing,” he said.