Exports growth improves to 7.8% in JulyBy Ana G. Roa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine exports grew at a faster pace in July after a slowdown in the previous month but shipments of electronics, the country’s top export, continued to drop given the sluggish global economy.
Outbound shipments increased by 7.8 percent in July from a year earlier as huge increases in export items like metal components and activated carbon offset a sharp decline in electronics and semiconductors.
The better performance of items other than electronics might not be enough to meet the export target as the stronger peso was also making exports less competitive, economists said.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the July growth of 7.8 percent could be considered “respectable” given the difficulties on the external front.
“That [July exports growth] is of course a positive development. That shows that the export sector remains competitive in spite of the global difficulties that are being experienced now,” Tetangco said.
The July export growth marked an improvement from the 4.3 percent in June.
According to the National Statistics Office, exports in July amounted to $4.81 billion, up from $4.46 billion in the same month last year.
Electronics exports, which accounted for about a third of receipts in July, went down 25.6 percent to $1.68 billion from $2.25 billion in July 2011. Semiconductors, which made up the bulk of electronic exports, earned $1.34 billion in July, down 12.1 percent from $1.53 billion a year ago.
“The dip in electronics exports mirrors the continuing saga of economic lethargy in the European and American markets,” said Cid Terosa of the University of Asia and the Pacific.
Economist Victor Abola of UA&P said that exports could fare better in the fourth quarter as a result of election spending in the United States and probably some more stimulus from the US Federal Reserve.
“Nonetheless, especially with an appreciating peso that kills the competitiveness of Philippine exports and industries, the target 10 percent for the full year is not likely to be reached,” Abola said.—With a report from Michelle Remo
Originally posted: 12:13 pm | Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
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