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Philippines exports rebound in December

Staff Writer |
Philippine exports rebounded in December, mainly due to stronger demand from China, Japan and Hong Kong which more than offset weaker demand from Singapore and the U.S.

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Exports expanded at an annual rate of 4.5%, which strongly contrasted November’s 7.5% drop.

December’s rebound mainly reflected an impressive expansion in exports of agro-based products, chemicals and metal components.

Exports of manufactured products swung from a 10.6% contraction in November to a mild 0.4% growth in December.

Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—deteriorated, dropping 2.8% on an annual basis, an improvement from the 7.9% fall seen in the previous month.

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

The most positive news came from the exports of agro-based products, which jumped an impressive 67.5%—a strong acceleration from November’s robust 28.6% expansion and the best result since August 2013.

In December, imports grew solidly, decelerating slightly from November’s robust growth, recording a 19.1% annual expansion (November: +19.7% year-on-year).

The trade balance in December recorded a $2.6 billion deficit, matching November’s reading (December 2015: $1.6 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.