Philippines: Exports decelerate but continue to grow at a double-digit pace
December 10, 2010
In October, merchandise exports increased 26.4% over the same month last year to reach USD 4.7 billion (September: +46.5% year-on-year). The reading came in well below market expectations that projected exports to increase 36.0% and represented the worst performance since December 2009. The slowdown reflected a pronounced 29.0% year-on-year contraction in exports of mineral products (September: +133.3% yoy). In addition, exports of manufactured products decelerated from a 48.1% expansion in September to 34.4% growth in October. On the other hand, agricultural exports accelerated, expanding 30.9% compared to a 23.8% rise in September. The moving 3-month sum of exports reached USD 14.8 billion, which surpassed the pre-crisis peak of USD 13.3 billion registered in August 2008 and marked a new historic high. Similarly, remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which account for more than 10% of GDP, increased to USD 1.7 billion in October (September: USD 1.6 billion). The October reading represented a record-high level of remittances, which are a key driver for economic growth.