Philippines trade deficit narrows to smallest in five months in Nov

Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico Dela Cruz, Reuters

Posted at Jan 08 2021 11:13 AM

Philippines trade deficit narrows to smallest in five months in Nov 1
Container vans stacked together are seen inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in Manila on April 1, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Philippine exports grew at the fastest pace in 10 months in November while imports contracted the most since August to yield the smallest trade deficit in five months, government data showed on Friday.

Exports in November rose 3 percent from a year earlier to $5.8 billion, while imports declined 18.9 percent to $7.5 billion.

The trade deficit was $1.73 billion, the Philippine Statistic Authority said.

The United States of America is the top buyer of Philippine export products, followed by China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

China remained the country's primary source of imported goods followed by Japan, the U.S., Indonesia, and South Korea.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier downgraded its export targets, expecting exports to hit $80.5-billion in 2020 versus the original $105.8-billion goal before COVID-19.

The trade agency is anticipating exports to pick up on the passing of reforms such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act and the extension of the Bayanihan 2 Act.

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