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Phillipines Trade Deficit Widen On Building-Ups

The Philippines posted a record USD3.78-billion trade deficit in November, as imports grew while exports rose at a slower pace, official data released today showed. Exports grew 1.6% to USD4.96 billion in November 2017 from the same period in 2016. Imports rose 18.5% to USD8.74 billion during the same comparable period, the Philippine Statistics Authority said. Analysts had predicted the peso's decline this year with the government's P8-trillion infrastructure program expected to drive the importation of capital goods. Iron, steel, mineral fuels and telecommunication equipment were the top gainers in imports in November, PSA data showed.

The slower annual rise in exports was due to a decline in the shipments of machinery and transport equipment and other manufactured goods, which offset the gains in electronic products, cathodes and gold, data showed.

Hong Kong was the Philippines largest export market in November 2017, accounting for 15.4% of total exports and with an estimated value of USD765.95 million. Japan was the second largest export market, followed by the US and China, the PSA said.

China was the Philippines' largest source of imports in November 2017, accounting for 19.4% of the total. Japan was the second largest import source, followed by South Korea, Thailand and the US, data showed.

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