Imports down 9.6 pct in May; first fall in 7 months

Reuters

Posted at Jul 25 2014 10:52 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2014 06:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine imports in May fell 9.6 percent to $4.77 billion from a year earlier, the statistics office said on Friday. This was its first decline in seven months.

Electronics imports also dropped 1.2 percent year-on-year to $1.26 billion.

Top imports in May were electronic products, accounting for 26.5 percent of the total, posting a decline of 1.2 percent from a year ago.

Mineral fuel imports were the second top shipment with a 13.9 percent share, falling 43.6 percent from a year earlier.

The Philippines had a trade surplus of $718 million in May, bringing the trade gap in the first five months of the year to $1.97 billion.

The electronics industry group has forecast electronic exports will grow 5 percent this year.

The Philippine government expects imports in 2014 to grow 9 percent, ahead of a previous forecast of 6 percent, before rising to 10 percent next year and 12 percent in 2016, on higher shipments of construction materials for rebuilding after last year's super typhoon and the start of big infrastructure projects.

Manila kept its export growth estimates at 6 percent this year, 8 percent next year and 10 percent in 2016.

Officials have set an economic growth target of 6.5-7.5 percent this year, after growth of 7.2 percent in 2013.