MANILA - Exports declined for the first time in three months, as the country's major shipments posted annual declines due to sputtering demand from some its major markets, government data released Tuesday showed.
Exports fell 7.5 percent in November compared to growth of 7.6 percent in October and 5.1 percent in September, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In a sign that domestic economic activity remained robust, imports rose 19.7 percent, the highest in six months, due to sharp increases in nearly all of the country's other major import items like iron and steel, and transport equipment.
The Philippines posted a wider trade deficit of $2.57 billion (P127.4 billion) in November compared with a $977-million (P48.5-billion) gap in the same month the year before.
The economy grew 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016, Asia's second highest and the country's strongest quarter in three years. The government expects full-year growth around 7 percent. -- with ABS-CBN News