The country’s trade-in-goods deficit narrowed in April as merchandise import growth eased to 13-month low, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

Preliminary PSA data showed the value of merchandise exports grew by 6% year on year to $6.129 billion in April.

This was lower than the 74.1% increase in the same month in 2021 but higher than the 5.9% growth in March.

It was the highest export growth in two months since the 15.8% recorded in February.

Meanwhile, the country’s merchandise imports rose by 22.8% to $10.902 billion in April. This was slower than the 153.2% growth in the same month last year and the 27.7% import growth the previous month.

This was the lowest import growth in 13 months or since the 22.1% growth in March 2021.

This brought the trade-in-goods deficit to $4.773 billion in April, wider than the $3.098-billion shortfall recorded a year ago, but narrower than the $5.007-billion gap in March.

Exports rose by 8.9% year on year to $25.55 billion in the four months to April, above the revised 7% growth projected by the Development Budget and Coordination Committee for 2022.

Imports climbed by 26.7% to $44.22 billion in the January to April period. This pace was above the government’s also revised 15% assumption.

Year to date, the trade balance ballooned to a $18.668-billion deficit, from a $11.442-billion trade gap in the comparable four months last year. — LOP