THE COUNTRY’S exports and imports of goods continue to post double-digit expansion in August, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

Preliminary PSA trade data showed the value of merchandise exports went up by 17.6% year on year to $6.47 billion. The August result marked a turnaround from the 12.7% drop posted in the same month last year and was faster than the revised 13.8% growth in July 2021.

Meanwhile, merchandise imports grew by 30.8% to $10.04 billion in August, inching up from the revised 29.5% year-on-year expansion recorded in the previous month. This was also a reversal from August 2020’s 17.5% decline.

The export and import figures in August brought the country’s trade balance to $3.58-billion deficit, wider than the $2.18-billion gap recorded in the same month last year, but narrower than the revised $3.66-billion deficit posted the previous month.

Year to date, the trade gap reached $25.25 billion, from a $15.69-billion shortfall in 2020’s comparable eight months.

For the same eight-month period, exports and imports grew by an annual 19.6% (to $48.93 billion) and 31.1% (to $74.18 billion), respectively. These continue to surpass the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s targets for exports and imports at 10% and 12% for the year, respectively. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona