Palace sees trade surplus after more than 20 years

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2015 12:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2015 08:27 PM

MANILA - Malacanang expects the country to post a trade surplus for the first time in more than two decades.

“Sa larangan ng pangangalakal natin sa ibang bansa, inaasahan ang patuloy na pagbuti ng ating trade balance. May mga indikasyon din na maaring magkaroon tayo ng trade surplus sa unang pagkakataon pagkaraan ng mahigit dalawang dekadang labis ang import o pag-angkat natin ng produkto mula sa ibang bansa, kesa sa export o pagluluwas ng ating mga produkto,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

Coloma cited the improving macroeconomic fundamentals, bolstered supposedly by the strength of exports and low oil prices.

The country suffered from a congestion in its ports in the last few months, however, forcing companies to cut back on its imports.

The Philippines posted a $68-million trade deficit in December 2014, compared to $485 million in December 2013.

Malacanang reported a trade deficit for the whole fiscal year of 2014 at $2.1 billion, lower than the $5.7 billion in 2013 and $10 billion in 2012.

Quoting Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Coloma said exports may not perform well during the first part of 2015 because of the weakening currencies in Japan and Europe.

Nonetheless, the country’s overall economic performance will still provide a leeway for exporters, he said.

“Inaasahan din na makikinabang ang ating ekonomiya sa mababang presyo ng langis ngayon sa pandaigdigang pamilihan. Ayon sa DTI, maaring humigit ng 8 percent ang ating GDP growth rate kung manatili ang presyo ng krudo ng mas mababa pa sa $60/barrel,” Coloma said.