Philippines Trade March 2018


Philippines: Exports decline sharply in March

May 11, 2018

Philippine exports contracted 8.2% in annual terms in March, coming in below February’s 5.5% drop. March’s result reflected contractions in 7 of the 10 top commodity categories. Machinery and transport equipment, gold and coconut oil were the export components that recorded the steepest drops.

In March, imports grew a paltry 0.1% year-on-year, a sharp deceleration from the 13.7% increase recorded in February. A drop in the imports of capital goods, consumer goods and raw materials and intermediate goods were largely behind the sharp deceleration.

The trade balance in March recorded a USD 2.6 billion deficit, narrowing from February’s USD 2.9 billion deficit but widening from the USD 2.1 billion deficit recorded in March 2017.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 7.5% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, exports are set to expand 6.7%. Panelists expect a trade deficit of USD 22.9 billion in 2018. They see it widening to USD 24.2 billion in 2019.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Philippines Trade Chart

Philippines Exports yoy March 2018

Note: Year-on-year and annual average variation in %.
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority.

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