Trade deficit accelerated last June as country’s purchases of goods from abroad outpaced the rise in sales of locally-made products, but the National Economic and Development (NEDA) just shrugged off the widening trade gap.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Tuesday, Aug. 9, that the country’s trade gap, or the difference between the value of export and import, jumped 75 percent to $5.843 billion from $3.33 billion in the same month last year.
Month-on-month, trade deficit rose 5.2 percent from $5.55 billion in May.
In a briefing, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said he was “not worried” about the record trade deficit last June, citing it was driven by construction and government expenditures.
“We would expect that deficits, trade deficits to increase but again the expectation is the investments we’re putting in place,” Balisacan told reporters.
In June, imports rose 26 percent from $9.9 billion to $12.48 billion driven by mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials which climbed 125 percent, followed by iron and steel up 34 percent, and telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery up 23 percent.
Increases were also seen in the import of other food and live animals by 19 percent, transport equipment by 17 percent, electronic products by 9.9 percent, plastics in primary and non-primary forms as well as industrial machinery and equipment by by five percent, and miscellaneous manufactured articles by four percent.
Meanwhile, exports reached $6.643 billion in June, a marginal increase of one percent from $6.576 billion in the previous year.
Increases in export were due to other mineral products which grew 76 percent, followed by coconut oil 63 percent, chemicals 31 percent, other manufactured goods seven percent, and machinery and transport equipment three percent.
At end-June, total export receipts rose seven percent while imports amounted to $68.32 billion or higher by 26.7 percent year-on-year.