The Philippines has cemented its position as a growth driver for Southeast Asian economies, with exports showing broad-based, double-digit growth in February.
The country’s export earnings in the month jumped 24.4 percent to $4.654 billion from $3.741 billion a year earlier, according to data released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday.
Most economies in the East and Southeast Asian region posted positive export growth, led by Vietnam and the Philippines, according to the NEDA.
Major commodity groups put in a strong performance while manufactured products delivered significant recovery.
Renewed demand for electronic products indicated that world demand has also improved as developed markets continued to slowly climb back from a downward trend, most notably the United States, said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, BPI associate economist.
“Although exports to the US have declined overall, we may be benefiting from indirect demand from there given that our exports are usually low value-added products in the electronics value chain,” Mapa said.
Month-on-month, the increase in February export receipts was 6.3 percent from $4.379 billion recorded in January.
Data from the PSA shows that the improvement in February exports came mostly from seven major commodities namely, mineral products, electronic equipment and parts, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, woodcraft and furniture, electronic products, and other manufactured products.
Compared with the manufacture-driven growth in January 2014, the export performance in February was more broad-based, with all major commodity groups registering gains, said NEDA Officer in Charge and Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra.
“Manufactures continue to be a significant driver of export growth in February, supported by higher overseas sales of minerals, total agro-based products, petroleum, and forest products,” he said.
Export earnings from manufactured goods posted year-on-year growth of 22.4 percent to $3.9 billion in February this year from $3.2 billion in February 2013, as shown by PSA data.
The PSA added that electronic products remained as the country’s top export with total receipts of $1.880 billion for the month, accounting for 40.4 percent of the country’s total exports revenue for the period.
Japan remains the top destination for Philippine exports, marking a total value of $1.2 billion of shipment and accounting for 25.4 percent of the country’s total revenues from merchandise exports.
Other top markets for Philippine exports were China, the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, the NEDA said.