Strong trade keeps economy on-track to sustain growth -NEDA

MANILA-- Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Tuesday said the strong trade growth keeps the Philippine economy on its upward trajectory.

Philippine Statistics Authority's report indicated that total trade grew to USD 11.3 billion in February 2017, backed by imports growing by 20.3 percent and exports growing by 11 percent, recording its second consecutive double-digit growth this year.

"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," Pernia said in a statement.

Pernia, also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General, noted that Philippine exports to ASEAN countries grew by 18.8 percent in the same period, a good sign that the country is forging stronger connections with its Asian neighbors.

He attributed the healthy growth in Philippine exports to higher shipments 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, he said.

Exports earnings rose to USD 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).

Import payments also surged to USD 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).

Source: Philippines News Agency