Export performance touted as heralding broader recovery

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THE 9.8% growth posted by exports in the first quarter inspires confidence in the growth in the overall economy, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“The Philippine economy will continue to rebound and grow in the coming months. Of course, this will just depend on how bad the world economies will be affected by the prolonged war in Ukraine,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said in a statement on Sunday.

“The rate of Philippine export recovery in terms of both our key export products and markets brings greater optimism for a stronger Philippine economy. The only uncertainty is the possible global slowdown towards the second half of the year,” he added.

According to preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, exports in the three months to March grew 9.8% year on year to $19.42 billion.

The DTI said exports of manufactured goods were particularly strong in electronic products, garments, textile, and travel goods.

It added that agro-based exports posted 32.6% growth in March, due to higher export sales of coconut products and other fruits and vegetables.

“Twenty-one out of 48 Philippine export commodity groups drove the resurgence of the export sector, registering consistent increases in export sales as compared to three time periods: 2021, 2020, and the pre-pandemic average over 2017-2019. This growth was propelled by exports in electronics, other mineral products, copper cathodes and sections of cathodes, coconut oil, and processed food and beverages,” the DTI said.

“In terms of markets, while China was the Philippines’ top export destination for the month of March, the US was the country’s largest export market in the first quarter of 2022. Completing the country’s top five markets for the quarter are Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore,” it added.

Mr. Lopez said the growth in the manufacturing sector and overall economy were driven by the reopening of the economy.

“The full reopening of more sectors, the de-escalation of all areas to (quarantine) Alert Levels 1 and 2, and the intensified vaccination efforts drove increased mobility throughout the country, thus further increasing demand,” Mr. Lopez said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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