Philippines Trade Balance


Machinery orders contract in February

In March, exports remained virtually unchanged, rising a slight 0.1% over the same month last year, which contrasts the 15.9% fall seen in the previous month. In addition, the print marks the first positive reading in three months and contrasted market expectations that saw exports dropping 3.7% in March.

The result mainly reflected a softer drop in exports for electronic products, which fell 22.4% in March (February: -36.5% year-on-year). As a result, exports of manufactured goods contracted only 5.0% compared to the sharp 17.5% decline seen in February. In addition, agro-based products experienced a significant increase in annual terms, partly compensating for the decline in the manufacturing sector. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see exports expanding 6.5% in 2013 and 7.8% in 2014.

Meanwhile, in February imports dropped 5.8% in annual terms, (January: -7.9% yoy). As a result, the trade deficit widened to USD 1.0 billion, which prompted the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance to reach a USD 10.1 billion deficit (January: 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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