Exports slip by 8.8% in April
Merchandise exports in April declined at its fastest pace in four months but imports continued to post robust growth, said to be supportive of domestic manufacturing and the country’s ambitious infrastructure program, the government reported on Friday.
Preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that exports dropped 8.5 percent to $5.11 billion in April, reversing the 30.4-percent growth to some $5.59 billion a year ago.
Imports, meanwhile, grew for the ninth consecutive month, jumping 22.2 percent to $8.729 billion, faster than the 4-percent increase to $7.141 billion last year.
The biggest drags to exports in April were the following products: machinery and transport equipment (down 45 percent); gold (down 25.2 percent); ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships (down 24.4 percent), and coconut oil (down 23.9 percent).
Electronics equipment and parts exports were also down 1 percent.
The country’s top export commodity, electronic products, posted an increase of 5.5 percent to $2.975 billion that month.
This was, however, slower than the 23.2-percent increase to $2.82 billion in April last year.
In a statement, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said “seizing the benefits of existing free trade agreements and forging new ties are equally important to expand the market for exports” and arrest the weak performance so far this year.
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