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Freeman Cebu Business

Philippines imports up 10.1% in November 2015

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Goods imported by the Philippines rose for a sixth straight month in November 2015, mainly buoyed by an increase in electronic imports.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported yesterday the country imported $6.09-billion worth of goods in November 2015, up 10.1 percent from $5.54 billion in the same month in 2014.

"This increase was due to the positive performance of five out of the top 10 major imported commodities for the month led by electronic products," PSA said in a statement.

Electronic imports, which accounted for 35 percent of the total import bill, totaled $2.13 billion in November, up 68.8 percent year-on-year.

The other four positive performers were industrial machinery and equipment (37.3 percent), telecommunications equipment and electrical machinery (26.8 percent), transport equipment (19.8 percent), and cereals and preparations (1.9 percent).

Total imports in the 11 months of 2015 to $62.63 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from $59.93 billion in 2014.

In a statement yesterday, Economic Planning Chief Arsenio Balisacan said: "Despite an expected slow recovery in the global economy, continued growth in the country’s merchandise imports signifies the increasing investment demand in the Philippines."

The Philippines ranked first among its Asian peers’ imports growth in November 2015.

Balisacan cited the declining crude oil price which will be beneficial for the economy as it leads to lower production costs.

He said: "We also expect the trend of low oil prices to continue as demand softens with slower economic growth. Oversupply could happen as oil-exporting economies continue to produce to drive down prices and maintain market share."

Meanwhile, the Philippines registered a trade deficit of $976.87 million in November, which means the country's imports exceeded its exports. That was also higher than the $361.35 million trade deficit in November 2014. The PSA had earlier reported that exports fell for the eighth consecutive month in November 2015 as the global economy remains weak.

China remained the country's biggest source of imports, accounting for 16.7 percent. It was followed by Japan (11.8 percent), USA (10.2 percent), Taiwan (9.2 percent) and Korea (7.7 percent).

PSA said aggregate payments from the top ten imports sources for November 2017 amounted to $4.92 billion or 80.8 percent of the total. (FREEMAN)

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