Daily News

Trade gap widens, hits $3.76 Bn in Jan.

The Philippines posted a trade deficit of $3.76 billion in January as imports continued to outpace exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported. The gap was wider compared to the $3.16 billion notched a year earlier and the $3.75 billion in December 2018. Inbound shipments, at $9.03 billion in January, were up 5.8% from the same month last year while exports contracted by 1.7% to $5.28 billion. Electronic products, the country’s main export with a 52.9% share of the total, grew by 1.7% to $2.79 billion, but this was offset by declines for 5 of the top 10, particularly 2nd-ranked machinery and transport equipment (down 24.2% to $317.66 million and 3rd-placed other manufactured goods (down 15.3% to $312.85 million). Import growth, on the other hand, was attributed to gains for 8 of the top 10 products although the overall expansion was tempered by a 9.9% drop in purchases of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials to $820.54 million.