Philippines: Merchandise exports drop at softer pace in February
Merchandise exports contracted 2.3% in annual terms in February, moderating from January’s 5.2% drop. February’s softer downturn was largely driven by a milder decline in exports for machinery and transport equipment, as well as of other manufactured goods. Meanwhile, merchandise imports bounced back, growing 2.7% year-on-year in February, contrasting January’s 14.9% slide.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance logged a USD 2.3 billion deficit in February, which was a wider shortfall than the USD 2.0 billion deficit in the same month of 2020 but narrower than the USD 2.4 billion deficit in January. Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 21.4 billion shortfall in February, compared to the USD 21.0 billion deficit in January.