Philippines: Exports shrink for the first time in 20 months
February 10, 2015
In December, exports shrunk 3.2% over the same month of the previous year, notably contrasting November’s strong 21.7% expansion and representing the first contraction since April 2013.
December’s drop resulted from falling exports of agro-based products and manufactures. Exports of manufactures in December fell 1.1% in annual terms, contrasting November’s 18.9% increase and marking the largest drop in 17 months. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactures—slowed from November’s 27.0% increase to a weaker 9.9% annual expansion in December. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of the total exports revenue. Exports of agro-based products fell sharply, swinging from November’s 34.5% expansion to a significant 24.9% contraction in December.
In the full year 2014, exports grew 10.8%, coming in above the 7.0% increase recorded in 2013.
In November (the latest month for which data are available), imports fell 10.8% in annual terms, contrasting October’s 7.5% increase. Meanwhile, the trade balance improved and tallied a USD 272 million surplus in November (November 2013: USD 1.3 billion deficit).