Philippines: Growth in exports picks up in February, reaching highest level since December 2010
April 10, 2014
In February, exports rose 24.4% over the same month of the previous year. The print exceeded market expectations of a 16.6% expansion and marked a return to double digit growth (January: +9.2% year-on-year) after January's deceleration. Furthermore, it represents the largest increase in exports in the past 38 months.
February's expansion reflects a broad-based performance with all main commodity groups experiencing gains. Strong growth in exports of manufactures, which increased 22.4% in February (January: +15.6% year-on-year), largely contributed to the result. Export of electronic products-classified as a sub-category of manufactures-expanded 26.6%, which up from below the 21.2% increase recorded in January. Meanwhile, exports of agro-based product rebounded strongly to an 18.7% expansion, which contrasts the 28.5% hurricane-related drop recorded in January. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports rising 1.8% in 2014 and expanding 7.6% in 2015.
In January (the latest month for which data are available), imports increased 21.8% in annual terms (December: +2.1% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance reached a USD 1.38 billion deficit in January (January 2013: USD 716 million deficit). FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the trade deficit to widen in the months ahead, reaching USD 12.8 billion in 2014 and USD 14.0 billion in 2015.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions