Philippines: Exports continue to decelerate in February
April 12, 2011
In February, merchandise exports rose 8.2% over the same month last year to reach USD 3.9 billion. The reading came in below both the 11.8% expansion observed in January and market expectations that exports would increase 13.3%. In fact, the figure represented the slowest growth in exports since November 2009. Shipments of manufactured goods, which account for the majority of Philippine exports, increased 5.7% in February, which was below the 8.5% expansion observed in January. However, exports of agro-based products expanded a much more buoyant 47.8% in February (January: +57.8% year-on-year). As a result of the slower growth recorded in February, the moving three-month sum of exports reached USD 12.1 billion, which was below the USD 12.3 billion recorded in the three months to January. At the current level, exports continue to remain below the pre-crisis peak of USD 13.3 billion registered in August 2008 but have recovered substantially from the USD 7.7 billion trough recorded in the three months up to February 2009. Meanwhile, remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which account for approximately 10% of GDP, increased to USD 1.50 billion in February (January: USD 1.48 billion). On a year-on-year basis, remittances expanded 6.2% in February (January: +7.6% yoy).