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NEWS UPDATES 14 October 2009

Philippines posts 21% decline in export earnings in August   

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Sales of Philippine-made goods abroad fell at its slowest pace in nine months in August as shipments of electronic products—the country’s key export—continued to post a slight recovery, the Manila Times reported, citing government figures.

The National Statistics Office (NSO) said export earnings in August dropped 21 percent to $3.472 billion from $4.395 billion last year.

Exports, which comprises a third of Philippine economic output, fell by 24.5 percent in July and by 11 percent in November last year.

The August performance caused exports to drop 30.3 percent to $24.004 billion in the first eight months, or faster than the government’s negative 15-percent target for the full year.

Electronics, which accounted for 59.3 percent of total shipments abroad, amounted to $2.058 billion, or 18.7 percent lower than the $2.531 billion recorded in August last year.

The NSO blamed the decline on the 24.8-percent annual decrease in semiconductors, which comprised 41.3 percent of the total exports.

“The growth in the country’s electronic exports reflects the developments in the international markets,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos said.

He cited a report from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) saying that the global sales of electronics increased by 5 percent in August.

He said the industry group identified the recovery of consumer spending as a main reason for the continuing rebound of semiconductor sales since the start of the second quarter.

Domestic electronics assemblers earlier said they expect exports to recover in the second half of this year, citing inventory correction and the upcoming holidays. Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. (SEIPI) had said the sector hit the bottom in the first quarter, adding it had been registering month-on-month growth starting January.

The industry group revised upward its growth forecast to a range of minus 15 percent to minus 20 percent, from an earlier estimate of minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent.


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