By Jochebed B. Gonzales, Senior Researcher
The country’s merchandise trade deficit continue to widen in October as imports grew faster than exports, the government reported this morning.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the October trade deficit at $4.212 billion, bigger compared to $3.723 billion in September and $2.585 billion in October last year.
Import payments, which outpaced exports, rose 21.4% year on year to $10.320 billion. Its growth eased from September’s 26.1% but was faster compared 17% growth recorded a year ago.
On the other hand, exports receipts rose 3.3% year on year to $6.108 billion, accelerating from 0.8% growth in September but slower compared to 17.4% recorded in October 2017.
In the first 10 months of the year, exports were down 1.2% to $57.067 billion, as opposed to imports which grew 16.8% to $90.985 billion. This brought the country’s year to date trade deficit to $33.918 billion, bigger compared to $20.128 billion in the same period a year ago.