Philippines: Exports rebound after contracting for eight straight months
March 13, 2012
In January, merchandise exports added 3.0% over the same month last year, which contrasted the 18.9% decline observed in December (previously reported: -20.7% year-on-year). The reading broke the negative trend in exports, which had been falling uninterruptedly since May 2011. January's increase mainly reflected a rise in shipments of manufactured products. In particular, electronic goods, the country's main export, grew 0.4% over the same month last year, rebounding from a 29.4% contraction in December. Meanwhile, in December, the latest month for which data are available, imports fell 6.5% year-on-year (November: +0.7% yoy). As a result, the trade balance recorded a shortfall of USD 1.2 billion in December, smaller than the deficit of USD 1.6 billion observed in November. In the full year 2011, exports declined 6.7% to reach USD 48.0 billion, while imports totalled 60.1 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of USD 12.1 billion.