Philippines Trade May 2016


Philippines: Exports contract at softer pace in May

July 12, 2016

The Philippines’ exports declined for the fourteenth consecutive month in May due to weak global demand. Exports dropped an annual 3.8%, which followed April’s slightly deeper 4.1% decrease. May’s softer decrease reflected robust advancements in both machinery and transport equipment (May: +29.3% year-on-year; April: -0.9% yoy) and woodcrafts and furniture (May: 49.7% yoy; April: +21.9% yoy). Nevertheless, exports of agro-based products recorded a 29.4% contraction, which was notably sharper than April’s 11.1% drop. Moreover, exports of manufactured goods swung from a mild expansion to a mild contraction (May: -0.5% yoy; April: +2.1% yoy). Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—also dropped, declining 4.0% on an annual basis, which contrasted the 1.9% increase seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues.

In April (the latest month for which data are available), imports accelerated notably from March’s already robust growth, recording an impressive 29.2% annual expansion (March: +11.7% yoy). The trade balance deteriorated to a USD 2.3 billion deficit in April (April 2015: USD 619 million deficit).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports growing 2.8% in 2016 and expanding 6.3% in 2017. Panelists expect a trade deficit of USD 12.1 billion in 2016 and see it shrinking to USD 11.9 billion in 2017.

Author: Teresa Kersting, Economist

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Philippines Trade Chart

Philippines Exports yoy May 2016 0

Note: Year-on-year and annual average variation in %.
Source: National Statistics Office (NSO) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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