Imports grow by 6.9% in August; China tops anew

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The country’s imports grew by 6.9 percent to $5.5 billion in August compared to the $5.2 billion registered during the same period last year, because of the high importation of “investment goods,” according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

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NEDA Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra said that August imports were also higher than July imports by 1 percent, because of the rise in importation of seven out of 10 major commodity groups.

“For [August], 44.7 percent of the country’s inward shipments from the top ten import sources can be classified as ‘investment goods’ or goods with productive uses. This shows buoyant economic activity for the second half of the year,” said Esguerra.

“Spending for imported mineral fuels and lubricants [26.5 percent], capital goods [11 percent], and consumer goods [2.3 percent] mainly backed the growth in imports for the period,” he added.

According to NEDA, domestic consumption of petroleum crude rose by 54.3 percent as well as other mineral fuels and lubricants by 0.4 percent.

“Volume expansion of imported petroleum crude [50.9 percent] and other mineral fuels and lubricants [5.4 percent] led to high values for these products even as the price of crude in the international market declined,” Esguerra explained.

On the other hand, rapid capital goods importations was high because of annual gains in payments for aircraft, ships and boats (778.9 percent), as well as power generating and specialized machines (23.2 percent).

“This was largely due to the delivery of Philippine Airlines’ brand-new Airbus A321-200 as part of its comprehensive fleet renewal program,” he said, adding that there is also “continuing positive outlook” for the third quarter gross domestic product results.

“This outlook can be seen specifically in the number of firms with intentions to expand operations in the current and the next quarter of the year, which has remained at favorable levels,” Esguerra added.

Products from China were the Philippines’ top import goods, having a 13-percent share of total imports in August. China has been the top source of the country’s imports since May.

The United States came in second as a top import source with 9.5 percent share, followed by Taiwan with 8.5 percent, Japan with 8.3 percent, and Saudi Arabia with 8.2 percent.

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