Trade deficit narrows in February
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The country posted its smallest trade deficit in more than two years in February as imports declined, and exports continued to grow although at a much smaller pace, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported yesterday.

The trade gap narrowed to $1.656 billion in February, the smallest since July 2017, data showed. It was also 39.4 percent smaller compared to the $2.733 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.

Imports fell by 11.6 percent to $7.06 billion in February due to the sharp drop in the purchases of industrial machinery, transport and telecommunication equipment, among others.

Exports, on the other hand, rose by 2.8 percent to $5.40 billion. The latest growth rate was slower than the previous month’s 9.7 percent expansion.

Exports of electronic products, accounting for 54 percent of the total outbound shipments in February, expanded by 3.4 percent to $2.93 billion.  

Japan was the top export destination during the review period, buying 17.2 percent of locally manufactured goods valued at $929 million. 

Other top export destinations during the review period were the US, Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

Double-digit declines were seen in the imports of the following commodities: cereals and cereal preparations, industrial machinery and equipment, transport equipment, telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, as well as mineral fuels and lubricants.

By major commodity groups, declines were seen in the importation of raw materials and intermediate goods and capital goods which are crucial to production.

Imports of consumer goods also declined during the period.

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