Philippines: Exports contract at softer pace in April
June 10, 2016
Philippine exports have been falling for over one year now. In April, they dropped an annual 4.1%, which followed March’s deeper 15.1% decrease. April’s softer decrease reflected a broad-based advancement. While exports of agro-based products recorded another double-digit contraction, of 11.1%, the decrease lessened notably in April from March’s significant 37.7% drop. At the same time, exports of manufacturers rebounded from a double-digit contraction to a mild expansion (March: -11.1% year-on-year; April +2.1% yoy). Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactures—picked up pace, rising 1.9% on an annual basis, which came in above the 1.0% 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 March (the latest month for which data are available), imports accelerated notably from February’s modest growth, recording an 11.7% annual expansion (February: +1.2% yoy). Meanwhile, the trade balance deteriorated to a USD 1.7 billion deficit in March (March 2015: USD 257 million deficit).