Philippines: Exports surge in March
May 11, 2017
Philippine exports rose in March, mainly due to stronger demand from the United States, China and Hong Kong, which more than offset a slump in demand from Japan. Exports jumped by an annual rate of 21.0%, which represented a strong acceleration from February’s robust 11.0% growth. March’s result reflected a broad-based acceleration in growth of all export categories, with agro-based and manufactured products registering the sharpest accelerations.
Exports of manufactured products grew 16.5% in March, well above the 6.2% expansion recorded in February. Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—increased 19.0% in March, up from February’s 15.9% rise. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Further good news came from exports of agro-based products, with growth skyrocketing from 0.5% in February to 33.6% in March.
In March, imports expanded at a strong pace, with growth accelerating to 24.0% year-on-year (February: +20.3% year-on-year). The trade balance in March recorded a USD 2.3 billion deficit, up from February’s USD 1.7 billion deficit (March 2016: USD 1.7 billion shortfall).