• NEDA sees sustained PH economic performance

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    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is seeing a continued positive performance of the Philippine economy in the coming months.

    “The rebound of the export sector shows that despite the subdued global economic outlook, the country’s prospects for sustaining good economic performance in the coming months are good,” Socioeconomic Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

    The country’s merchandise exports for June this year rebounded by 4.1 percent to $4.49 billion, higher than the $4.31 billion in June 2012.

    NEDA said that the Philippines is one of the few Asian economies to register positive growth in exports in June.

    Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, noted that most Asian economies registered contractions for the said period, including Japan (-12.4 percent), Malaysia (-6 percent), Indonesia (-4.1 percent), Thailand (-3.4 percent), China (-3.1 percent), Singapore (-1.5 percent) and South Korea (-1 percent).

    Export growth was driven by higher earnings from agro-based products, mineral products and petroleum, which contributed significantly to the recovery of exports, the agency said.

    He also expects continued increase in banana exports in the succeeding months.

    “Based on pronouncements made by the Bureau of Plant Industry, demand from continental US, Japan, Korea and Middle East countries will likely increase shipments of bananas in the near term,” he said.

    According to the National Statistics Office, growth in the value of exported bananas surged by 73.4 percent in June 2013 compared to 12 months ago.

    Meanwhile, Balisacan said that notable increases were also seen in copper concentrates gold and other mineral products.

    “Most of the growth in other mineral products, which include salt, sulfur, plastering materials, lime and cement, was due to the sizable increase in shipments to Japan, China and [South] Korea,” Balisacan said.

    He added that the increase in value of petroleum exports was due not only to higher petroleum prices but also to a significant increase in volume, which grew by 279.4 percent.

    On the other hand, Balisacan mentioned that semiconductor exports may improve in the coming months despite the 12.6-percent contraction in June 2013 from June 2012.

    “According to industry sources, spending on semiconductors by global market leaders is anticipated to increase by 4.2 percent in 2013 as against a flat growth in 2012. Others also projected a moderate growth for the said industry this year,” he said.

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