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Trade deficit balloons to $4.02 billion

THE COUNTRY’S trade-in-goods deficit widened in October as merchandise import growth outpaced the growth in exports, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

Preliminary PSA data showed the value of merchandise exports grew by 2% to $6.41 billion.

The October reading was a turnaround from the 0.9% drop in the same month last year, albeit slower than the 6.4% growth seen in September 2021.

Meanwhile, the country’s merchandise imports rose by 25.1% to $10.43 billion in October. This marked a reversal from the 15.9% contraction in October 2020 but faster than the 24.9% import growth in September 2021.

This brought the trade-in-goods deficit to $4.02 billion in October, wider than the $2.05-billion shortfall recorded in the same month last year, as well as the $4-billion gap in September.

Year to date, the trade balance ballooned to a $33.21-billion deficit, from a $20-billion trade gap in 2020’s comparable 10 months.

For the 10-month period, exports and imports grew by an annual 16.1% (to $62.10 billion) and 29.7% (to $95.31 billion), respectively. These surpassed the Development Budget Coordination Committee expects exports and imports to rise by 10% and 12% this year. — Abigail Marie P. Yraola

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