The Philippines’ trade deficit in March widened by more than a third of its size a year earlier and in February, with demand for imports by a robust economy outpacing foreign markets’ absorption of the country’s exports, official data showed on Thursday.
The balance of trade in goods for the Philippines in March “registered a deficit of $2.302 billion, higher than the $1.747-billion trade deficit in the same month last year,” the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a statement.
Based on these figures, the trade deficit in March grew 31.8 percent from the year-ago level. Compared with the $1.76-billion trade gap in February, the March balance contracted by 30.2 percent.
Exports in March rose 21 percent year-on-year to $5.57 billion, while imports surged 24 percent to $7.88 billion, data from the PSA showed.
In the first quarter of 2017, the country’s trade deficit expanded 19.2 percent to $6.54 billion from $5.48 billion a year earlier.
MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO