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Trade gap widens in July amid flat export growth

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By Carmina Angelica Valeroso-OlanoResearcher

The country’s trade deficit continues to grow in July as imports continued its accelerated growth pace while export growth was flat.

Exports grew by 0.3% to $5.85 billion in July, slower than the 2.8% growth in June and 21.9% in July 2017.

The country’s balance of trade in goods expanded to a $3.55 billion deficit in July from $1.31 billion a year ago as imports accelerated. The country’s import bill increased 31.6% to $9.40 billion during the month, faster than the 24.2% seen in June and the 0.3% decline in July 2017.

On a cumulative basis, merchandise exports amounted to $38.74 billion, down 2.8% from $38.74 billion in the same seven months last year while that of imports grew 15.7% to $61.23 billion versus last year’s $52.923 billion. This brought the trade deficit to $22.490 billion year to date.

The United States is the Philippines’ top export market in July with a 16.6% market share at $972.52 million followed by Hong Kong’s 14.7% ($859.98 million) and Japan’s 13.7% ($799.02 million) market shares.

Meanwhile, China was the country’s top source of imports with a 19.8% share in July ($1.86 billion) followed by South Korea’s 10% ($936.49 million) and Japan’s 9.7% ($911.48 million) market shares.