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Stronger demand prompts October's growth in Philippine exports

Staff Writer |
Philippine exports grew for the second time in October after seventeen consecutive months of decline, mainly due to stronger demand from China, the U.S. and Hong Kong.

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Exports expanded an annual 3.7%, which represented a deceleration from September’s 5.1% increase—the best result since November 2014.

October’s softer growth mainly reflected a milder expansion in exports of manufactured goods (October: +1.9% year-on-year; September: +4.9% yoy).

Exports of electronic products—classified as a sub-category of manufactured goods—accelerated somewhat, expanding 4.7% on an annual basis, which followed the 3.6% growth seen in the previous month.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electronic products account for the largest share of total export revenues. Other positive news was seen in exports of agro-based products, which grew 30.6%, the fastest rate in over two years, following September’s already impressive 30.0% expansion.

In October, imports grew solidly, nevertheless decelerating substantially from September’s notable growth, recording a 5.9% annual expansion (September: +13.5% yoy).

The trade balance in October recorded a $2.2 billion deficit, down from the $1.9 billion shortfall registered in the previous month (October 2015: $1.9 billion deficit).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see exports falling 0.8% in 2016 and expanding 6.0% in 2017. Panelists expect a trade deficit of $17.4 billion in 2016 and see it shrinking to $16.2 billion in 2017.

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