Philippines: Exports decline sharply in March
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.