The ocean and the beach in the Philippines

Philippines Trade April 2023

Philippines: Merchandise exports contract further in April

Merchandise exports shrank 20.2% annually in April (March: -9.1% year on year). April’s outturn marked the worst decline since May 2020. Meanwhile, merchandise imports plunged 17.7% in annual terms in April (March: -1.2% yoy), marking the weakest result since July 2020.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 4.5 billion shortfall in April (March 2023: USD 5.1 billion deficit; April 2022: USD 5.3 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 59.1 billion deficit in April, compared to the USD 59.9 billion deficit in March.

Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:

“A widening of the goods trade deficit in 2023 will cause the overall current-account deficit to widen to the equivalent of 5.3% of GDP in 2023, compared to 4.4% of GDP in 2022. This will mainly reflect weaker global demand for goods. In contrast, the services surplus will be supported by the return of Chinese travelers. The secondary income account will remain firmly in surplus, although we anticipate little growth in remittance inflows in 2023, owing to weak global growth.”

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