Philippines: Exports skyrocket in January
March 10, 2017
Philippine exports jumped in January, mainly due to stronger demand from China, Singapore, the U.S. and Hong Kong, which more than offset weaker demand from Japan. Exports expanded at an annual rate of 22.5%, which represented a strong acceleration from December’s 4.5% growth. January’s result reflected a broad-based expansion in all export categories, with exports of manufactured goods expanding at the fastest pace since December 2013 and exports of agro-based products growing by more than a third.
Exports of manufactured products sped up from a mild 0.4% growth in December to a strong 23.1% expansion in January. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—swung from a 2.8% contraction in December to a 10.4% rise in January. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Further positive news came from exports of agro-based products, which jumped an impressive 33.7%—although the print represented a deceleration from December’s sky-high 67.5% increase.
In January, imports grew healthily, despite decelerating from December’s robust growth, recording a 9.1% annual expansion (December: +19.1% year-on-year). The trade balance in January recorded a USD 2.3 billion deficit, down from December’s USD 2.6 billion deficit (January 2016: USD 2.6 billion shortfall).