Philippines: Exports contract in February
April 11, 2018
Philippine exports contracted slightly in February, contrasting January’s moderate increase, mainly on the back of declining demand from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Japan, which more than offset expansions in overseas orders to China and Singapore. Exports dropped 1.8% in annual terms, swinging from January’s 0.5% increase. February’s result reflected contractions in exports of both manufactured and agro-based products.
Exports of manufactured products dropped 1.1% in February compared to the same month of 2017, following a sharper 4.2% year-on-year contraction in January. Exports of electronic products, which are classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods and account for the largest share of total export revenues, rose 4.6% in February, well below January’s strong 10.8% expansion. Lastly, exports of agro-based products plunged 31.0% in February, a much sharper fall than January’s 11.2% decline.
In February, imports soared 18.6% year-on-year, above the already robust 11.4% expansion recorded in the previous month. The trade balance in February consequently deteriorated in annual terms and recorded a USD 3.1 billion deficit, narrowing from January’s USD 3.3 billion deficit but widening considerably from the USD 1.8 billion deficit recorded in February 2017.
Philippines Trade Balance Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 7.5% in 2018 and 6.7% in 2019. Panelists expect a trade deficit of USD 23.0 billion in 2018. They see it widening to USD 24.2 billion in 2019.