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Philippines: Exports contract in February

Staff Writer |
Philippine exports contracted slightly in February, contrasting January’s moderate increase, mainly on the back of declining demand from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Japan, which more than offset expansions in overseas orders to China and Singapore.

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Exports dropped 1.8% in annual terms, swinging from January’s 0.5% increase. February’s result reflected contractions in exports of both manufactured and agro-based products.

Exports of manufactured products dropped 1.1% in February compared to the same month of 2017, following a sharper 4.2% year-on-year contraction in January.

Exports of electronic products, which are classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods and account for the largest share of total export revenues, rose 4.6% in February, well below January’s strong 10.8% expansion.

Lastly, exports of agro-based products plunged 31.0% in February, a much sharper fall than January’s 11.2% decline.

In February, imports soared 18.6% year-on-year, above the already robust 11.4% expansion recorded in the previous month.

The trade balance in February consequently deteriorated in annual terms and recorded a $3.1 billion deficit, narrowing from January’s $3.3 billion deficit but widening considerably from the $1.8 billion deficit recorded in February 2017.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports expanding 7.5% in 2018 and 6.7% in 2019. Panelists expect a trade deficit of $23.0 billion in 2018. They see it widening to $24.2 billion in 2019.

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