Philippines Trade Balance


Exports fall most in over one year in February

In February, exports dropped 15.6% over the same month last year. The reading represents the steepest decline recorded since December 2011, well below the 2.7% fall observed in January. Furthermore, the figure surprised the market on the downside, as analysts had expected a drop of 4.8%.

The decline mainly reflects a sharp 36.5% fall in shipments of electronic products, which account for the majority of the country's exports. In addition, exports of manufactured products maintained a downward trend and dropped 17.5%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see exports expanding 6.5% in 2013 and 7.8% in 2014.

Meanwhile, in January - the latest month for which data are available - imports dropped 8.0% in annual terms, which contrasts the revised 14.4% increase tallied in December (previously reported: +13.2%). As a result, the trade deficit narrowed to USD 0.7 billion (December: USD 1.3 billion deficit), which prompted the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance to reach a USD 9.4 billion deficit (December: USD 9.7 billion deficit). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the trade deficit to widen in the months ahead and reach USD 12.4 billion in 2013 and USD 14.0 billion in 2014.


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