ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL trade deficit widens to $3.32B in January
The Philippine balance of trade in goods registered a wider deficit of 34.4 percent in January 2018 from a year earlier as imports continued to outpace exports, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday showed.
“The balance of trade in goods expanded to a $3.32 billion deficit in January 2018, higher than the $2.47-billion deficit in January 2017,” the statistics office said.
A trade deficit indicates that the cost of the country’s imports exceeded export receipts.
University of Asia and the Pacific economist Vic Abola said a widening trade deficit should be a concern as it puts further pressure on the country's balance of payments position.
“But this is just the first month of the year, we need to see how it moves on in the coming months,” Abola said.
Total imports reached $8.54 billion, up 11.4 percent from $7.67 billion, while exports receipts stood at $5.22 billion, up 0.5 percent from $5.19 billion.
“Imports growth has been largely expected with the infrastructure program push. The strong imports growth is expected,” Union Bank of the Philippines chief economist Ruben Carlo Asuncion said.
Total external trade in goods in January 2018 reached $13.75 billion, up 7.0 percent from $12.85 billion in 2017.
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