MANILA - Exports recovered in December and climbed 4.5 percent from a year earlier, driven by hefty increases in the shipments of coconut oil, other mineral products and metal components, government data showed.
The shipments offset the decline in some of the country's top export items such as electronic products and woodcrafts and furniture.
Exports to the country's top trading partner Japan rose 2.8 percent from last year, but exports to the US fell 6.7 percent. Shipments to Hong Kong and China grew 5.3 percent and 36.6 percent, respectively.
In a sign that domestic economic activity remained robust, imports growth stayed above 19 percent for a third straight month in December, reflecting increases in transport equipment, power generating machinery, industrial machinery, and iron and steel imports.
Manila posted a wider trade deficit of $2.564 billion in December compared with a $1.586 billion gap in the same month the year before.