January imports down 3.2%

Sluggish January import performance continues to reflect the general weakness of global demand, particularly in electronic products

MANILA, Philippines – Merchandise imports declined by 3.2% to $5.1 billion in January 2012 from US$5.3 billion in January 2011 due to the lower purchases of raw materials, intermediate, capital, and consumer goods.

On Monday, April 2, Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga explained that on a month-on-month basis, import payments in January 2012 rebounded by 10.8% from US$4.6 billion in December 2011.

Trade-related activities are indicators of where the economy is heading. In 2011, the slower pace of imports and exports was a key factor in the slower gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.7%. The year before, the Philippine economy grew 7.6%.

Paderanga said the sluggish performance in January “reflected the general weakness of global demand which feeds into the country’s imports through export products with high import contents, particularly electronics.”

“Seasonal decline in consumer demand, higher production costs, and the lingering effects of the floods in Thailand on the regional production network pending the full reconstruction, also contributed to the decline in imports in January,” Paderanga said. – Rappler.com

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