August imports surge 22% to $4.4 billion
- Rica Delfinado () - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s merchandise imports climbed 22 percent to $4.41 billion in August from $3.617 billion a year ago as the recovering manufacturing sector increases purchases of electronic products, fuel and machineries, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported yesterday.

The August import growth was a reversal of the 28.3-percent contraction in the same month last year, and faster than the 16.2-percent growth in July. However, the import bill in August was 5.7 percent lower than July’s $4.68 billion.

Imports of electronic parts, which accounted for 37.3 percent of the total import bill, were up an annual 27.2 percent in August after a 2.4-percent rise in July.

These are inputs used by the semiconductor and electronics industry, the country’s biggest export sector and a major contributor to the economy.

The government expects imports to climb 20 percent this year and exports to increase 15 percent, with estimated growth for both revised upwards earlier this year.

Merchandise exports climbed 36.6 percent in August from a year ago after a 35.9-percent jump in July.

Apart from electronic parts and fuel, the Philippines’ other top imports are cereals such as rice, electrical and industrial machinery, transport equipment, iron, steel and metal scraps.

For the first eight months of the year, total imports rose by 26.1 percent to $35.324 billion from $28.023 billion in the same period last year.

Similarly, an increase of 37.4 percent for merchandise exports was noted, reaching $32.984 billion for the eight-month period from $24.011 billion a year ago. Thus, the balance of trade in goods remainedfavorable for the country at $2.341 billion, lower from the previous year’s trade deficit of $4.012 billion.

Most of the country’s imports came from the US, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

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