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PHL trade deficit widens to $2.84 billion in Oct. —PSA
The Philippine trade deficit widened in October with imports outpacing exports during the month, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed Tuesday.
“The country reflected a deficit in the total balance of trade in goods amounting to $2.84 billion in October 2017, higher than the $2.22 billion deficit in October 2016,” the PSA reported.
Data released by the PSA showed total exports rose by 6.6 percent to $5.37 billion, while imports increased by 13.1 percent to $8.21 billion.
The total external trade in goods came in at $13.58 billion in October, up 10.4 percent from $12.30 a year earlier.
“We are encouraged by the performance of Philippine trade in recent months, especially with the consistent performance of exports,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a separate statement.
“Cooperation and trade initiatives are integral to sustaining these gains,” he said.
October’s trade figures were in line with expectations, University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) School of Economics Dean Cid Terosa said.
”Because of the surge in imports due to the holiday season and weaker peso, which made imports more expensive,” Terosa told GMA News Online.
With imported goods expected to increase during the holiday season, Terosa said the country may continue registering deficits.
“Because of greater importation due to season-related production, weaker peso, and frontloading of purchases for the first quarter of 2018,” he said.
Pernia said the government is looking at increasing exports of agricultural products.
“For 2018, we are looking at improved performances in exports of agricultural products and semiconductors, which continue to comprise a huge portion of Philippine exports,” he said.
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