The Philippines’ budget deficit in 2014 is expected to rise to 2.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, largely due to the massive rehabilitatio in typhoon-devastated areas, according to First Metro Investment Corp (FMIC).

FMIC President Juanchito Dispo, speaking a 2014 economic outlook briefing on January 6, declared that the ratio of outstanding debt to GDP in the Philippines is forecast to decrease once more to 47.5 percent from the current 49 percent.

The debt-to-GDP ratio, which indicates the country’s ability to pay back the huge sum it owes, has been declining in the past two years from a peak of 70 percent in 2004. The lower the ratio, the healthier the country’s fiscal outlook.

Economist Victor Abola at the University of Asia and the Pacific said the projected increase of fiscal deficit relative to the country’s total output was mainly due to the huge cost of rebuilding areas struck by typhoon Haiyan in late 2013.

The World Bank has offered a 980 million USD loan package for the rehabilitation project while the Asian Development Bank has also offered a assistance worth 500 million USD.

FMIC projects that the country’s GDP in 2014 will grow 7-7.5 percent thanks to continued measures.

Meanwhile, export turnover is expected to rise to 6-10 percent while imports will likely hit 8-12 percent.

The Philippines will contain its inflation for 2014 at 3.8-4 percent, said the company.-VNA