Philippines: Trade deficit likely weakened in April

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s trade gap likely widened in April from the previous month, with both exports and imports expected to have posted declines, according to United Kingdom-based think tank Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Pantheon Macroeconomics chief emerging Asia economist Miguel Chanco and senior Asia economist Moorthy Krshnan said in a report that the country’s trade deficit may have widened to $5.10 billion in April from $4.93 billion in March.

The country’s trade deficit in March is wider than the $3.91 billion shortfall in February.

It is also higher than the $4.59 billion trade gap in March last year.

“The export slump probably eased to -6.4 percent (year-over-year) from -9.1 percent, but the downturn in imports probably worsened to -5.7 percent from -2.7 percent,” the economists said.

The country’s merchandise export sales reached $6.53 billion in March, 9.1 percent lower than the $7.18 billion in the same month last year.

Goods imported by the country also dipped by 2.7 percent to $11.46 billion in March.

In the January to March period, the country’s trade deficit widened to $14.58 billion from the $13.08 billion trade gap recorded in the same period last year.

As of end-March, exports reached $16.86 billion, down 13.2 percent from $19.43 billion in the same period a year ago.

Imports, on the other hand, posted a smaller decline of 3.3 percent to $31.44 billion in the first quarter.

The Philippine Statistics Authority is set to release April trade data on June 9.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/business/2023/06/06/2271685/trade-deficit-likely-weakened-april