MANILA, Philippines – Merchandise imports rose for the first time in 4 months in April on the back of higher shipments of oil and related products, data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed Tuesday, June 25.
The country imported $5.141.40 billion worth of goods in April, up 7.4% from $4.788.12 billion in the same month of 2012. This was also 4.5% higher than March’s import bill of $4.921.84 billion.
For the period of January to April however, imports fell 3.9% to $19.498 billion from $20.297 billion in the same period of 2012.
Imports were down for 3 consecutive months since the start of 2013. They fell 7.9% in January, 5.8% in February, and 8.4% in March, according to NSO data.
The declines were brought about mainly by weakness in the electronics sector.
Electronics imports in April plunged 19% to $1.062 billion from $1.311 billion a year before. This group, traditionally the biggest import item, was only top two for the month, accounting for 20.6% of the total bill.
The largest share – 25% – belonged to mineral fuels, lubricants and other related materials. This group grew 21.4% to $1.283 billion, offsetting the decline in electronics.
Imports are mostly raw materials used for the production of the country’s exports, a major contributor to the economy. Exports dropped 12.8% in April.
Other top imports in April like transport equipment and industrial machinery rose by 148.6% and 9.9%, respectively. – Rappler.com
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