Strong exports, imports drive trade growth in February: NEDA
Double-digit growth in exports and imports pushed up total merchandise trade of the Philippines by 16.1 percent, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Tuesday.
Based on the Philippines Statistics Authority’s report, total trade grew to $11.3 billion backed by imports growing by 20.3 percent and exports growing by 11 percent, recording its second consecutive double-digit growth this year.
“We see this as a strong follow-through to the 14.2 percent growth of total Philippine trade recorded in January, keeping our country’s economy on-track in sustaining its momentum of growth,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a statement..
Exports earnings rose to $4.7 billion, mainly driven by growth in volume of manufactured goods (6.2 percent), mineral (99.5 percent), and petroleum products (224.6 percent).
“The healthy growth in Philippine exports was mainly driven by higher exports to East Asian countries, comprising 48.3 percent share in total exports. Receipts from Hong Kong and China surged by 66 percent and 24.7 percent growth, respectively,” Pernia said.
Pernia said Philippine exports to ASEAN countries grew by 18.8 percent in the same period, a good sign the country is forging stronger connections with its Asian neighbors.
Also, import payments grew to $6.5 billion in the same period, led by volume increase in the purchases of mineral fuels and lubricants (97.3 percent), raw materials and intermediate goods (7.9 percent), capital goods (18 percent), and consumer goods (21.5 percent).
“The performance of trade in the first two months of the year is a good indication that we are on an upward trajectory. With ASEAN chairmanship and China's rebalancing to a more consumer-oriented growth, the Philippines is expected to have expansions in terms of products and markets,” said Pernia. DMS