Philippines: Contraction in exports deepens in March
May 11, 2016
Philippine exports have been falling since April 2015 and continued to contract in March 2016. Exports fell an annual 15.1% in March, which was the steepest drop in six months and followed February’s 4.5% decrease. March’s reading mainly reflects notable deteriorations in exports of manufactures and of agro-based products, with both categories recording double-digit contractions. Exports of agro-based product fell a sizable 39.9% (February: -5.8% year-on-year) and exports of manufactures decreased 11.1% (February: -1.5% yoy). Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactures—grew at a notably slower pace, rising a tepid 1.0% on an annual basis, which came in below the 8.1% increase seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of the total export revenues.
In February (the latest month for which data are available), imports decelerated notably from January’s outstanding result, recording a tepid 1.2% annual expansion (January: +30.8% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance deteriorated to a USD 1.1 billion deficit in February (February 2015: USD 837 million deficit).