The Philippines exported $6.251 billion worth of goods in August 2019, up from the $6.216 billion posted in August 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) called the 0.6% growth “paltry” and urged the government to redouble efforts to support export products where the country has comparative advantage.
Meanwhile, the country imported goods worth $8.660 billion in August 2019, an 11.8% decrease from the $9.815 billion recorded a year ago.
NEDA said the “persistent decline” in imports may be an area of concern even though it served to narrow the trade deficit. The agency noted that production in sectors requiring import components also dropped. The two biggest losers were iron/steel and transport equipment imports, which contracted by 44.2% and 29.1%, respectively.
“As subdued investments in emerging markets, coupled with the persisting trade tensions, continue to hamper global expansion, implementation of timely reforms will vastly improve the country’s resilience to external shocks,” NEDA chief Ernesto Pernia said.