Philippines: Exports rebound in September to almost two-year high
November 10, 2016
Philippine exports grew for the first time in September after seventeen consecutive months of decline, mainly due to stronger demand from China, Singapore and Japan. Exports expanded an annual 5.5%, which contrasted August’s 4.4% decrease and marked the best result since November 2014. September’s growth mainly reflected the swing from contraction to the strongest expansion in over twenty months in exports of manufactured goods (September: +4.9% year-on-year; August: -4.6% yoy).
Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—decelerated significantly, expanding 3.6% on an annual basis, which followed the 11.7% growth seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Other positive news came from exports of agro-based products, which grew 30.0%, the fastest rate in over two years, following August’s milder 1.1% expansion.
In September, imports grew robustly, accelerating somewhat from August’s already notable growth, recording a 13.5% annual expansion (August: +12.2% yoy). The trade balance in September recorded a USD 1.9 billion deficit, down from the USD 2.0 billion shortfall registered in the previous month (September 2015: USD 1.3 billion deficit).