Export growth slows to 4.2% in June


MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Export growth slowed down markedly in June from the previous month as the main electronics item contracted by double digits, raising concerns the country may not sustain high economic growth seen early this year.

Data from the National Statistics Office showed exports rose 4.2% in June to $4.31 billion after a 19.7% growth in May that was due largely to a low base.

The latest figure brought the total exports for the first 6 months to $26.75 billion, up 7.7% from $24.85 billion in the same period last year.

Shipments of electronics, which accounted for bulk or 43.8% of the total export bill in June, fell 14.6% during the month to $1.87 billion. This was the third straight month that electronics recorded a decline. They fell 0.7% in May and 23.8% in April.

Japan was the Philippines’ top export destination in June, with a share of 16.4% of the total export revenue. Exports to this country amounted to $704.96 million, down 24.7% year-on-year.

The government is banking on the recovery of exports, a major driver of growth, to help sustain the surprisingly high 6.4% economic expansion it recorded in the first quarter.

The weakness in exports, which were down for most of 2011, as well as low government spending were blamed for the drastic slowdown in economic growth that year to 3.9% from 7.6% in 2010. – Rappler.com, with a report from Cai Ordinario

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