Philippines: Exports decelerate in January
March 10, 2011
In January, merchandise exports rose 11.8% over the same month the year before to reach USD 4.0 billion. The reading came in well below both the 25.3% expansion seen in December and market analyst expectations that exports would increase 20.3%. The January increase reflected a strong 57.8% expansion in exports of agro-based products (December: +39.5% year-on-year). In addition, shipments of manufactured goods, which account for the bulk of Philippine exports, increased 8.5% in January (December: +21.7% yoy) due to seasonally weaker demand. As a result of the weaker January growth, the moving three-month sum of exports reached USD 12.3 billion, which was below the USD 13.1 billion recorded in the three months to December. At the current level, exports remain below pre-crisis peak of USD 13.3 billion registered in August 2008. Meanwhile, remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which account for approximately 10% of GDP, decreased to USD 1.5 billion in January (December: USD 1.7 billion). On a year-on-year basis, remittances expanded 7.6% in January (December: +8.1% yoy).