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Philippines exports surge in March

Staff Writer |
Philippine exports rose in March, mainly due to stronger demand from the United States, China and Hong Kong, which more than offset a slump in demand from Japan.

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Exports jumped by an annual rate of 21.0%, which represented a strong acceleration from February’s robust 11.0% growth.

March’s result reflected a broad-based acceleration in growth of all export categories, with agro-based and manufactured products registering the sharpest accelerations.

Exports of manufactured products grew 16.5% in March, well above the 6.2% expansion recorded in February.

Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—increased 19.0% in March, up from February’s 15.9% rise.

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

Further good news came from exports of agro-based products, with growth skyrocketing from 0.5% in February to 33.6% in March.

In March, imports expanded at a strong pace, with growth accelerating to 24.0% year-on-year (February: +20.3% year-on-year).

The trade balance in March recorded a $2.3 billion deficit, up from February’s $1.7 billion deficit (March 2016: $1.7 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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