Philippines: Contraction in exports softens notably in August
October 13, 2016
The Philippines’ exports declined for the seventeenth consecutive month in August mainly due to weak demand from Japan, Hong Kong and the USA. Exports dropped an annual 4.4%, which followed July’s sharper 13.0% decrease. August’s softer contraction mainly reflected a weaker contraction in exports of manufactured goods (August: -4.6% year-on-year; July: -13.0% yoy).
Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—rebounded vigorously, expanding 11.7% on an annual basis, which contrasted the 14.8% contraction seen in the previous month and marked the best result since July 2015. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Other positive news came from exports of agro-based products, which expanded 1.1%, the fastest rate in over a year and a half, contrasting July’s 0.6% drop.
In July (the latest month for which data are available), imports deteriorated notably from June’s strong growth, recording a 1.7% annual decrease (June: +15.4% yoy). The trade balance in July matched June’s USD 2.1 billion deficit (July 2015: USD 1.5 billion deficit).