Philippines: Robust exports and remittances support domestic economy
November 10, 2010
In September, merchandise exports soared 46.2% over the same month last year to reach USD 5.3 billion. The reading was well above market expectations that projected exports to increase 29.0%. The figure underlines the healthy state of the country's external balances and marks the fourth consecutive month of accelerating exports. The acceleration reflected a 133.3% year-on-year increase in exports of mineral products (August: +9.98% yoy) due to a pronounced growth in mineral production and a number of new investments in the mining sector. Exports of manufactured products expanded 47.7% compared to 36.5% rise in August. Agricultural exports increased only 23.8% (August: +75.4%). The 3-month sum of exports reached USD 14.6 billion, which surpassed the pre-crisis peak of USD 13.3 billion registered in August 2008 and marks a new historic high. Similarly, remittances of overseas Filipino workers, which account for more than 10% of gross domestic product, increased to USD 1.6 billion in September (August: USD 1.5 billion). The Central Bank of the Philippines expects remittances to expand even further this year from last year's USD 17.3 billion, even though the impact of global economic downturn is still notable.