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Exports down 11.4% to $4.8 billion in June

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - August 11, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Philippine exports posted their biggest drop in June to $4.8 billion, down 11.4 percent as exports to the country's top trading partners dropped.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported yesterday that exports to Japan, US, China and Singapore decreased during the month.

While exports to the third biggest market, Hong Kong, rose 3.2 percent.

Japan accounted for 20.6 percent of total exports in June, making it the top export market, followed by US, Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

Electronic goods and semiconductors, the country's top export item, went down 5.1 percent to $2.4 billion in June from $2.6 billion 

Other manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, and woodcrafts and furniture also saw decreases during the month.

From January to June, exports registered a 7.5 percent drop to $26.8 billion from $29 billion in the same period last year.

Weak demand

The falling exports reflect the weak demand from the Philippines' key export markets. 

Weak demand continued to drag down demand from the country's major trading partners.

The National Economic and Development Authority has said the slow pace of global economic recovery has negatively affected trade in most countries.

It said the local export sector will continue to remain sluggish in the coming months.

Targets

The export growth target this year was cut to 5 percent due to a very challenging external environment.

The Philippine economy is seen expanding by 6-7 percent this year, a trimmed target by Duterte's economic managers.

Economic expansion in the second quarter is likely to have picked up 7 percent from 6.9 percent recorded in the first quarter.

The government is set to report second-quarter GDP data on August 18.

Growth target for next year was also trimmed to 6.5-7.5 percent, but the government pegged a 7-8 percent GDP expansion for the rest of the Duterte administration's term, considering its plan to boost infrastructure spending.

Last year, GDP came in at 5.8 percent boosted by domestic demand and private investments, although it missed the 7-8 percent target for 2015. (FREEMAN)

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