MANILA - The Philippines' trade deficit widened to $5.84 billion in June 2022 or an annual increase of 75.4 percent as imports outpaced exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Tuesday.
Total export sales in June reached $6.64 billion, or an annual growth rate of just 1 percent, compared to the total export sales growth of 18.9 percent in June 2021, the PSA said.
Imports, on the other hand, grew at an annual rate of 26 percent to $12.49 billion, data showed.
Growth in the value of imported goods for the month was mainly due to the increase in the value of mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials, iron and steel, telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, the PSA said.
But the rising trade deficit is not a cause for concern, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said during the second quarter economic growth briefing.
It is also expected to grow as construction and public spending continue, he said.
"We would expect that deficits, trade deficits to increase but again the expectation is the investments we’re putting in place…. will improve the competitiveness of our industries, particularly exports and gain dividends from that," he added.
"I'm not worried about that," Balisacan said.
For the first 6 months, total export earnings amounted to $38.53 billion, up 7.1 percent while imports for the period totaled $68.32 billion or higher by 26.7 percent, data showed.