MANILA — The Philippines' balance of trade, which is is the difference between the value of export and import, widened to $5.93 billion in July or a jump of 69.1 percent, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority released Friday.
In June, the trade deficit was at $5.84 billion.
This, after export sales reached $6.21 billion in July, declining by 4.2 percent while total imports reached $12.14 billion with an annual rate increase of 21.5 percent, the PSA said.
"The annual growth in the value of imported goods in July 2022 was mainly due to the increases in the values of nine of the top 10 major commodity groups," the PSA said.
Mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials grew the fastest followed by cereals and cereal preparation, and transport equipment, it added.
Meanwhile, out of the 10 major commodity groups, 4 recorded an annual decrease in value of exports, data showed.
The country's total external trade totaled P$18.35 billion or an annual increase of 11.4 percent.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan earlier allayed fears of the widening trade deficit, which includes imports to boost the country's infrastructure program.
He said the country would benefit from the infrastructure drive in the long term.