Philippines Trade January 2016


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).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports rising 4.6% in 2016 and slowing to a 6.3% expansion in 2017. Panelists expect a trade deficit of USD 10.9 billion in 2016 and see it widening to USD 12.3 billion in 2017.

Author: Teresa Kersting, Economist

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Philippines Trade Chart

Philippines Exports yoy January 2016

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

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