Philippine external trade up 1.9% to $129.9 billion in 2015

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - July 18, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippines' total external trade in goods grew 1.9 percent in 2015 to $129.9 billion, latest official data showed.

"The positive growth of the external trade was due to the increase of inward trading of goods," the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

Last year, total imports went up 8.7 percent to $71.1 billion from $65.4 billion in 2014.

However, total exports receipts dropped 5.3 percent from $62.1 billion in 2014 to $58.8 billion last year. This brought the country's trade deficit to $12.2 billion last year from $3.3 billion in 2014.

Electronic products remained a top export earner and major exported commodity in 2015, accounting for 49 percent of total exports. 

Electronic goods were also the top imported commodities last year, accounting for 29 percent of total import bill.

PSA data showed the country's top 10 trading partners contributed $101.9 billion or 78.5 percent of total external trade in 2015.

Japan was the country's top trading partner in 2015, accounting for total trade worth $18.7 billion or 14.4 percent of its total trade.

China came in second, followed by the US, Singapore and Hong Kong.

External trade is one of the drivers propping up the Philippine economy.

But while the growth of imports looks positive this year, exports growth, on the other hand, is expected to remain muted for the rest of 2016 with the slow recovery of the global economy. (FREEMAN)

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