Philippines: Exports rebound timidly in January
March 9, 2018
Philippine exports rose slightly in January, following December’s contraction, mainly on the back of surging demand from Hong Kong and China more than offsetting sizeable contractions in overseas orders to the United States and Singapore. Exports grew 0.5% in annual terms, swinging from December’s 4.9% decline. January’s result reflected a healthy expansion in exports of electronic products which more than compensated for a notable contraction in exports of agro-based products.
Exports of manufactured products dropped 4.4% in January compared to the same month of 2017, following a softer 1.1% year-on-year decline in December. 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 10.9% in January, above December’s already strong 15.0% expansion. Lastly, exports of agro-based products contracted 11.2% in January, a much softer fall than December’s 61.7% plunge.
In January, imports increased 11.4% year-on-year, below the already-robust 17.6% expansion recorded in the previous month. The trade balance in January consequently improved and recorded a USD 3.3 billion deficit, narrowing from December’s USD 4.0 billion deficit but widening from the USD 2.5 billion deficit recorded in January 2017.
Philippines Exports 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 and see it widening to USD 24.2 billion in 2019.