Exports grow 19.7% in May, highest in 17 months
MANILA, Philippines - Merchandise exports grew at their fastest pace in 17 months in May, backed by a low base last year and easing fall in electronics shipments.
Data from the National Statistics Office showed annual exports grew 19.7% in May to $4.93 billion, the highest growth since December 2010, when exports expanded 25.3%.
The growth surged relative to a low base in the same month last year, when exports fell 2.9% to $4.12 billion.
Electronics, the main import item accounting for 38% of total exports, fell 0.7% to $1.872 billion in May. The decline was much smaller than April's 23.8% decline. In May 2011, electronics also saw a double-digit contraction of 26.2%.
Exports to Japan grew 26.4% to $642.73 million in May. It was the Philippines' top market, accounting for 15.4% of total receipts.
China was the second-biggest with a 14.3% share. Exports to this country soared 151.8% to $594.81 million.
United States came in next, contributing 13.6% to export earnings. Exports to this country fell 11.3% to $563.92 million.
In terms of economic bloc, East Asia remains the Philippines' largest market, accounting for 47.2% of total exports. Shipments to this region reached $2.33 billion or a 25.6% growth in May 2012 from $1.85 billion in May 2011.
Exports to ASEAN-member countries accounted for 22.5% of total exports. Shipments this year reached $1.11 billion or a 55.4% increase from $715.1 million last year.
Merchandise exports to the European Union accounted for only 9.8% of the total in May 2012. The value of exports to the region reached $481.2 million or a 10.5% growth from 2011's $435.57 million. - Rappler.com
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