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Q4 growth estimated at 6.4% by Moody’s Analytics

MANILA, Philippines - The economy likely grew by 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter last year, Moody’s Analytics said in a research note.

“The Philippines economy performed particularly well across the first three quarters of 2013 and this would have continued in the fourth quarter were if not for Typhoon Haiyan, which struck in November,” Moody’s said.

The 6.6 percent growth, however, was lower than the seven percent expansion recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

“These GDP (gross domestic product) figures will provide the first solid reading of the typhoon’s impact – so far we have seen only the trade and industrial production data, which showed little reaction,” the research arm of Moody’s Corp. added.

The official fourth quarter and full year growth data are due out on Thursday. It will  be the first solid reading on Yolanda’s impact on the economy that had been growing at over seven percent for most of 2013.

Typhoon Haiyan, known in the country as Yolanda, struck the Visayas and nearby provinces in November last year. The super typhoon literally flattened towns and wiped out farmlands, displacing thousands of families.

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“We anticipate a modest economic impact in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the opening quarter of 2014, but see few long-term implications, as the structure of the Philippines economy remains sound and downside risks remain contained,” Moody’s said.

“The rest of the economy has continued to perform strongly,” Moody’s said.

Moody’s fourth quarter GDP forecast brings the full-year economic growth to 7.2 percent, faster than the government’s six to seven percent target for 2013.

Government officials earlier said last year’s economic expansion is still seen to have settled at the upper end of the target.

For this year, the government hopes to grow the economy by 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

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