Philippines: Export growth moderates but remains robust in February
April 11, 2017
Philippine exports rose in February, mainly due to stronger demand from China—which is shifting to a more consumer-oriented growth model—and Hong Kong. This more than offset weaker demand from Japan, while demand from the U.S. and Singapore remained virtually unchanged. Exports expanded at an annual rate of 11.0%, which represented a deceleration from January’s impressive 22.5% growth. February’s result reflected a sharp deceleration in growth of both agro-based products and manufactured goods, with the latter slowing despite greater exports of electronic products.
Exports of manufactured products grew 6.2% in February, down from 23.1% in January. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—increased 15.9% in February, above January’s 10.4% rise. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Negative news came from exports of agro-based products, with growth falling from 33.7% in January to a mere 0.5% in February.
In February, imports expanded at a healthy rate, with growth accelerating to 20.3% year-on-year (January: +12.2% year-on-year). The trade balance in February recorded a USD 1.7 billion deficit, down from January’s USD 2.5 billion deficit (February 2016: USD 1.1 billion shortfall).