Philippine exports grew at a slower pace in October compared to the remarkably steep rise in September amid warnings of weak export demand from major international economies and China.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) reported Tuesday that outbound shipments in October increased by 6.1 percent to $4.41 billion from $4.16 billion a year ago.
The positive growth, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), made the Philippines one of the strongest performers among East and Southeast Asian neighbors for the first 10 months of the year.
However, economist Benjamin Diokno of the UP School of Economics saw the latest figure as a “base effect” of the double-digit negative performance of exports in 2011.
“Exports plunged by 13.2 percent in October last year. This (latest figure) is much lower than the government’s full-year exports target in 2012,” Diokno said. “We’re not even back to the October 2010 exports level.”
Diokno, a former budget secretary, noted that the growth of exports in November and December 2011 were both in “double-digit negative territory.”
The NSO said the Philippines’ receipts totaled $44.5 billion from January to October this year, up 7.1 percent from the same period last year.
Rolando G. Tungpalan, Neda deputy director general, said the other countries that posted positive exports growth were Vietnam (18.7 percent), China (7.8 percent), Hong Kong (1.4 percent), Thailand and Singapore (both 0.3 percent). Posting export declines were Indonesia (-6 percent), Taiwan (-3.7 percent), Japan (-1.4 percent) and South Korea (-1.3 percent).
The NSO said the growth of exports in October was helped by the increase in the value of shipments of major commodity groups such as manufactured products (6.5 percent), minerals (21.5 percent), petroleum products (43.5 percent) and agro-based products (1.6 percent).