MANILA - The Philippines' trade deficit narrowed in the 9 months to September as exports recovered and imports grew at a slower pace, official data released on Friday showed.
The 9-month deficit was at $18.9 billion, compared to $19.5 billion during the same period in 2016, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
In September, exports grew 4.3 percent to $5.59 billion while imports rose at a slower 1.7 percent to $7.51 billion, PSA data showed.
This brought exports in the nine months to September to $47.7 billion, up 12.2 percent from a year ago, while imports during the same period were up 7.4 percent to $66.7 billion.
A decline in the exports of chemicals, mineral products and ignition wiring sets used in vehicles, aircraft and ships slowed the year-on-year rise in exports in September.
Imports in September also rose at a much slowed annual pace due to fall in imports of transport equipment, plastics and electronic products.
Central bank deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said on Thursday he expected the trade balance to improve as exports continue to recover. -- with Reuters