June trade deficit smallest in three months

The country’s trade-in-goods deficit in June shrank to its smallest amount in three months, although this did not prevent the year-to-date shortfall from surging faster than in the previous year, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

Preliminary PSA data showed merchandise exports during the month expanded by 17.6% year on year to $6.51 billion compared with a revised 30.8% expansion seen in May. Nevertheless, this marked a reversal from the 10.1% contraction posted in June of last year.

Meanwhile, merchandise imports grew by 34.2% to $9.33 billion in June, compared with a revised 55.6% growth in May and the 20.8% contraction last year.

June marked the fourth and fifth consecutive month of growth for exports and imports, respectively.

This brought the trade deficit to $2.83 billion in June, smaller than the revised $3.17-billion gap recorded in May, but bigger than the $1.42-billion shortfall in June 2020.

Year to date, the trade balance widened to a $17.44-billion deficit, from the $11.37-billion trade gap in 2020’s comparable six months.

For the same six-month period, exports grew by an annual 20.9% to $35.90 billion, surpassing the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) revised export growth target of 10% for 2021. Meanwhile, imports increased by 29.8% to $53.34 billion year to date, also exceeding the DBCC’s 12% target for the year. – Ana Olivia A. Tirona

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