MANILA, Philippines - Philippine imports in October rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier, the fastest since March, the statistics office said on Tuesday.
Government data showed imports were 7.5 percent up in October to $5.21 billion.
However, electronic imports, which made up 21 percent of total imports, fell 11.3 percent in October to $1.1 billion. This was slower than the 22 percent drop in September.
Mineral fuels, accounting for 16.4 percent of total imports in October and was the second biggest import item, were up 18.7 percent from a year earlier.
The Philippines had a trade deficit of $56 million in October, bringing the 10-month trade deficit to $1.67 billion.
The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines (SEIPI) forecast that electronic exports will grow between 7-11 percent this year, compared with its earlier estimate of 5-8 percent, while next year's growth will probably be between 5-7 percent, helped by a pick up in global demand.
The Southeast Asian nation, which imports electronic parts and inputs for assembly for export later, provides about 10 percent of the world's semiconductor manufacturing services, including for mobile phone chips and micro processors.
A gridlock at the country's biggest port has had an impact on the country's trade flow, prompting the government to intervene to ensure sustained economic growth. - With Reuters