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Philippine export growth moderates but remains robust in February

Staff Writer |
Philippine exports rose in February, mainly due to stronger demand from China—which is shifting to a more consumer-oriented growth model—and Hong Kong.

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This more than offset weaker demand from Japan, while demand from the U.S. and Singapore remained virtually unchanged.

Exports expanded at an annual rate of 11.0%, which represented a deceleration from January’s impressive 22.5% growth.

February’s result reflected a sharp deceleration in growth of both agro-based products and manufactured goods, with the latter slowing despite greater exports of electronic products.

Exports of manufactured products grew 6.2% in February, down from 23.1% in January.

Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—increased 15.9% in February, above January’s 10.4% rise.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues.

Negative news came from exports of agro-based products, with growth falling from 33.7% in January to a mere 0.5% in February.

In February, imports expanded at a healthy rate, with growth accelerating to 20.3% year-on-year (January: +12.2% year-on-year).

The trade balance in February recorded a $1.7 billion deficit, down from January’s $2.5 billion deficit (February 2016: $1.1 billion shortfall).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 3.7% in 2017 and 8.1% in 2018.

Panelists expect a trade deficit of $23.3 billion in 2017 and see it widening to $25.7 billion in 2018.

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