Imports rise anew, up 16.8% in October
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine merchandise imports continued their resurgence for the month of October on the back of strong domestic demand for raw materials, intermediate and capital goods, and consumer products.
Trade data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday, December 29, showed spending on imported goods amounting to $6.5 billion in October 2015, an increase of 16.8% from the $5.6 billion in the same month last year, and up 8.2% from the September total.
It also marks the 5th straight month of gains this year.
The growth was backed by higher importation of raw materials and intermediate goods at 40.1%, capital goods at 25.4% and consumer goods at 4.1%.
“The continuing resurgence of imports is a healthy indication of robust investment demand as it continues to be driven by intermediate and capital goods. The anticipated recovery of the global economy, and brisk election spending will continue to drive imports to double-digit growth,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
The upswing in October also means that the Philippines outpaced its Asian neighbors as other trade-oriented economies registered declines in their imports.
Vietnam, which posted positive growth in the previous months along with the Philippines, was marginally down by 1.8 % in October this year.
Import payments for raw materials and intermediate goods, which account for 42.8% of the country’s total merchandise imports, increased by $2.8 billion in October 2015.
The value of imported capital goods, which account for 32.3% of total merchandise imports, increased to $2.1 billion and has been expanding at double-digit rates since March 2015.
“Increasing appetite for capital goods and manufactured goods, such as materials accounting for the manufacture of electrical equipment, signifies an upbeat business sector," Balisacan said.
The import bill for consumer goods increased by 4.1 % to $1.1 billion in October, while total import payments for mineral fuels and lubricants declined by 38.5% to $524.8 million, driven by volume purchases and the price decline of petroleum crude.
“On the back of a weak global environment, the strong growth in shipments of capital goods and consumer goods points to a resilient domestic economy,” Balisacan said. – Rappler.com
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