Trade deficit narrows to $1.9b as exports climb by 4.3%
Exports and imports increased in September, with the deficit in the balance of trade in goods narrowing to $1.91 billion from $2.02 billion a year ago after the growth in outbound shipments outpaced imports, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority on Friday show.
Data showed the country’s total external trade in goods in September 2017 reached $13.10 billion, up 2.8 percent from $12.74 billion registered during the same month of the previous year.
Total exports rose 4.3 percent to $5.59 billion in September 2017 from $5.36 billion in the same month of the previous year. Correspondingly, total imports increased 1.7 percent to $7.51 billion in September 2017 from $7.38 billion in September 2016.
The National Economic and Development Authority expressed support for regional cooperation initiatives that will reduce trade costs and further boost Philippine trade performance recorded in September 2017.
“The third quarter growth performance of several major economies such as the Eurozone, US, and China, reflects an upbeat outlook for the global economy. Given this, we are optimistic that Philippine trade will pick up in the last quarter due to higher demand in the holiday season,” Neda officer-in-charge and Econominc Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said.
Exports to EU, up 40 percent, and Asean, up 7.6 percent, boosted the total receipts during the period.
Higher sales for top export markets such as US (4.9 percent), Hong Kong (29 percent) Germany (4.6 percent), Netherlands (70.8 percent), and Thailand (7.1 percent) were recorded.
Imports from South Korea jumped 52.9 percent; Indonesia, 8.1 percent; Taiwan, 6.5 percent; and Vietnam (40 percent. Shipments from China dropped 7.3 percent; Japan 8.1 percent; and US, 18.3 percent.
“We look forward to regional cooperation and integration being forwarded in APEC 2017 Vietnam and also in the upcoming 31st Asean meetings. We expect these initiatives to promote inter- and intra-regional trade and deepen engagement between regional blocs, as spelled out in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022,” the Neda official said.