THE record trade deficit in 2022 has been revised slightly lower to $58.24 billion from the $58.32 billion initially reported, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

The revised deficit in 2021 was $42.19 billion.

The 2022 deficit is the largest since 1991, the earliest year for which the indicator is available.

Annual International Merchandise Trade of the Philippines

The value of merchandise exports in 2022 was revised upwards to $78.98 billion from $78.84 billion initially. The revised tally represents a 5.7% increase from 2021.

Imports were also revised upwards to $137.22 billion from $137.16 billion. The revised total is 17.4% higher compared with 2021.

Last year’s import growth missed the 20% full-year target set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee, while exports surpassed the 4% goal.

Exports and imports in 2022 were both at record levels.

The last years the Philippines was a net exporter were 1999 and 2000, when it reported trade surpluses of $4.29 billion and $3.59 billion, respectively.

The government expects exports and imports to grow by 3% and 4%, respectively, this year. — Lourdes O. Pilar