The Daily Manila Shimbun


Philippines trade deficit declined in May

July 10, 2019

The Philippines trade deficit in May decreased to $3.28 billion, from $3.88 billion deficit in May 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority ( PSA) said Wednesday.

In April, the deficit reached $3.50 billion in April, from $3.70 billion deficit in April 2018.

May exports logged $6.16 billion from $6.09 billion in May 2018. Imports slid by 5.4 percent, from $9.97 billion in May 2018 to $9.43 billion. 

 imports and exports of goods are expected to be better in the second half due to economic outlook remaining positive for the year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

“Global economic outlook for 2019 remains subdued as policy uncertainties and some geopolitical tensions continue to pose risks to many economies. But amid these external developments, the country’s economic outlook remains upbeat,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank estimate that the Philippine economy is poised to grow at 6.4 percent and 6.5 percent in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

This favorable view is also supported by the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts of 6.5 percent in 2019 and 6.6 percent in 2020.

The approval of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2018-2022 should further support external trade, said Pernia.

The PEDP, which is anchored on the PDP 2017-2022, will provide a more focused approach in improving the country’s export position.

“Strategies under the PEDP must be implemented in harmony with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to boost merchandise trade growth,” Pernia said.

The PEDP lays down crucial broad-based reforms that will improve overall climate for export development by removing regulatory impediments, enhancing trade facilitation, and fostering supply chain linkages, among others.

“The Philippines should likewise continue to aggressively pursue regional integration and cooperation to dampen the effects of increasing trade tensions,” said Pernia.

He also noted that efforts to promote a more accommodating business climate must be sustained to attract more investments. DMS