Typhoon could cut Philippines growth by 1% next year

Finance Minister Cesar Purisma says it will take many years to repair the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

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Philippine Finance Minister Cesar Purisma has told the BBC that the devastation caused by the Typhoon Haiyan could reduce growth by one percentage point next year.

Mr Purisma also said it would take "many years" to rebuild the infrastructure damaged by the storm.

The official death toll from the typhoon stands at more than 2,300, but it is expected to rise much higher.

Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on land.

It hit the coastal Philippine provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday and swept through six central Philippine islands.

Mr Purisma says that the worst affected region accounts for 12.5% of the Philippines economy and a steep slowdown there could slow the overall economy by one percentage point next year.

Earlier this year the International Monetary Fund forecast that the Philippines economy will grow by 6% in 2014.

The damage will also take "many years" to repair according to the Finance Minister.

"Some of the infrastructure under normal circumstances requires a long time, for example transmission lines - you don't build transmission lines overnight," he said.

The finance minister said that the Philippines is among the three countries most vulnerable to natural disasters.

When asked about what the government could do to protect its population Mr Purisma said: "We are investing increasingly in infrastructure - it will be 20% of next year's budget."

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