Philippine imports plunged 34.2 percent in December, the government said on Wednesday, reflecting a slowdown in global trade because of the financial crisis.
Electronics purchases, which made up over one third of all imports, fell 46.1 percent year-on-year in December. Falling prices of crude oil also drove down oil purchases by an annual 35.5 percent.
Electronics imports mainly comprise parts used as inputs for semiconductor exports and the sector is feeling the effects of the slowdown in US demand. Electronics exports in December fell 47.6 percent year-on-year.
The Philippines had a trade deficit of $617 million in December and a deficit of $7.61 billion in the full 2008 year.