Philippines: Exports turn negative in January
March 12, 2013
In January, exports dropped 2.7% over the same month last year. The reading contrasted both the 16.5% increase observed in December and market expectations of a 6.1% rise. The decline was the steepest recorded since August 2012 and mainly reflected a sharp 31.9% fall in shipments of electronic products -which account for the majority of the country's exports. In addition, manufactured products also dropped in January while agro-based exports recorded an increase. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists see exports expanding 6.5% in 2013 and 7.8% in 2014.
Meanwhile, in December - the latest month for which data are available - imports rose 13.2% in annual terms, which was up from the 2.3% increase tallied in November. On the back of a strong 16.5% expansion in exports in December, the trade deficit narrowed to USD 1.3 billion (November: USD 1.6 billion deficit). As a result, in the full year 2012, the trade balance recorded a 9.7 billion deficit, which was smaller than the 12.2 billion shortfall seen in 2011. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the trade deficit to reach USD 12.4 billion in 2013 and USD 14.0 billion in 2014.