MANILA – The Philippines' trade deficit narrowed in November as both exports and imports declined, official data released on Friday showed.
The trade deficit declined by 18 percent to $3.34 billion (P169 billion) November compared to the same month in 2018. Total external trade for the month shrank to $14.54 billion, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
Exports also declined by 0.7 percent to $5.6 billion in November 2019 from $5.64 billion while imports contracted by 8 percent to $8.94 billion, the PSA said.
Larger imports compared to exports is a source of weakness for the peso, economists and analysts said. The trade deficit is expected to persist as the country builds new infrastructure and as companies expand operations.
Japan was the Philippines' biggest market for exports in November, followed by the United States, Hong Kong, China and Singapore, data showed.
China remains as the top import partner followed by Japan, the United States, Thailand and Korea.