Philippines: Exports contract for tenth straight month in January
March 10, 2016
Philippine exports have been falling since April 2015 and continued to contract in January 2016. Exports fell an annual 3.9% in January, which was a steeper decrease than December’s 3.0% drop. January’s reading mainly reflected a deterioration in manufactures. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactures—grew at a slower pace, rising 4.9% on an annual basis, which came in below the 6.4% increase seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of the total export revenue. While exports of agro-based products continued to shrink, falling 7.6%, they improved as they recorded the smallest contraction in a year.
In December (the latest month for which data are available), imports tallied the worst performance on record, falling a sizable 25.8% in annual terms, which contrasted November’s 10.1% increase. Meanwhile, the trade balance improved and swung to a USD 603 million surplus in December (December 2014: USD 667 million deficit).