In January, exports rose 9.3% over the same month of the previous year, but fell short of market expectations of a 10.6% expansion. The increase marked a deceleration following three consecutive months of double digit growth, including a 15.8% rise in December. January's expansion reflects strong growth in exports of manufactures, which increased 15.3% in January (December: +20.9% year-on-year). Export of electronic products-classified as a sub-category of manufactures and accounting for 40.9% of exports-expanded 22.1%, which was below the 26.2% increase recorded in December. Meanwhile, export of agro-based products deteriorated further due to the effects of Typhoon Haiyan, contracting 28.8% in January (December: -5.5% yoy). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports rising 6.7% in 2014 and expanding 8.5% in 2015. In December (the latest month for which data are available), imports decreased 0.1% in annual terms (November: +0.5% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 695 million deficit in December (December 2012: USD 1.330 billion deficit). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the trade deficit to widen in the months ahead, reaching USD 12.2 billion in 2014 and USD 13.0 billion in 2015.
Growth in exports loses steam in January
March 11, 2014
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist
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