Philippines: Exports record 11th consecutive contraction in February
April 12, 2016
Philippine exports have been falling since April 2015 and continued to contract in February 2016. Exports fell an annual 4.5% in February, which was a steeper decrease than January’s 3.9% drop. February’s reading mainly reflected a deterioration in manufactures along with a continued contraction in exports of agro-based products. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactures—grew at a faster pace, rising 8.1% on an annual basis, which came in above the 4.9% increase seen in the previous month. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of the total export revenue. While exports of agro-based products continued to shrink, falling 5.8%, they advanced as they recorded the smallest contraction in over a year.
In January (the latest month for which data are available), imports rebounded impressively, recording a record 30.8% expansion. The reading was in stark contrast with December’s steep 25.8% contraction. Meanwhile, the trade balance deteriorated to a USD 2.6 billion deficit in January (January 2015: USD 862 million deficit).