Merchandise exports declined in March
C&C VIEWS - Ed F. Limtingco () - May 23, 2012 - 12:00am

According to the Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis, Inc. (IDEA) latest Newsbriefs, a weekly digest produced by IDEA, Inc. to highlight the most recent national and international economic events after expanding in the first two months of 2012, merchandise exports declined by 1.2 percent in March, lowering the month’s earnings to US$4.302 billion from US$4.356 billion last year. This completes the slate of figures for the first quarter, with aggregate merchandise exports increasing by 4.6 percent from US$12.286 billion to US$12.856 billion.

Furthermore according to the same published report, while Electronic Products still account for majority of the total exports revenue (52.6 percent), total receipts from electronics grew by only 1.1 percent. On a monthly basis, however, electronic exports declined by 3.1 percent from US$2.334 billion recorded in February. Following Electronic Products in the list of top five exports are Articles of Apparel and Clothing Accessories, with a share of 3.5 percent; Woodcrafts and Furniture, 3.5 percent; Ignition Wiring Set and Other Wiring Sets Used in Vehicles, Aircrafts, and Ships, 2.5 percent; and Coconut Oil, 2.1 percent.

Likewise, per IDEA, the Philippines is set to receive a loan amounting to US$400 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Finance undersecretary Rosalia V. de Leon said that the loan will be directed to programs that improve governance, rule of law, and infrastructure in the country.

On the other hand, First Metro Investment Corp. and The University of Asia and the Pacific expected that the Philippine economy may have grown by 5.3 percent in the first quarter. Internal and external demand factors were said to be supportive of the first quarter growth performance, which may further help speed up growth in succeeding quarters.

Moreover, the month of April saw an easing in the country’s gross international reserves (GIR). The GIR dipped by 0.22 percent in April to US$75.965 billion from US$76.129 billion in March. Payments in the government’s obligations and losses in the central bank’s gold holdings contributed to the slip.

Similarly, according to the latest Social Weather Stations Survey (SWS), more families experienced hunger coupled with poverty. Results indicate that the proportion of families who experienced involuntary hunger—a reference to involuntary suffering due to lack of anything to eat—at least once in the past three months rose to 23.8 percent, or approximately 4.8 million families, surpassing the previous peak of 23.7-percent in 2008. Self-rated poverty likewise rose to 55 percent, exceeding the peak of 52 percent recorded in September 2011.

Lastly, it was likewise reported that foreign direct investments dropped to US$84 million in February, down by 31 percent from last year’s US$121 million. The central bank said that this event may be interpreted as foreign investors opting to retain profits in domestic firms due to positive macroeconomic developments and other favorable prospects, according to IDEA.

For comments, rejoinders and questions related to credit & collection, email to elimtingco@yahoo.com.

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK BILLION COCONUT OIL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORP FOLLOWING ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS IGNITION WIRING SET AND OTHER WIRING SETS USED JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY
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