March exports grow 43.7%, highest since 1991

MERCHANDISE exports rose 43.7% in March as demand from the country’s main markets continued to recover along with the global economy.

Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that the country’s export earnings for the third month of 2010 rose to $4.18 billion from the year-ago level of $2.9 billion. On a monthly basis, exports rose 17% from $3.57 billion in February. Overall, exports jumped 42.9 % in the first quarter.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto Santos said this is the highest year-on-year increase since the National Statistics Office started compiling monthly exports statistics in 1991.

Shipments of electronics, which dominate exports and are largely assembled from imported parts, climbed 49.1% year-on-year to $2.42 billion in March after a 53.3% jump in February.

The Philippines expects exports to grow 12% and imports to rise 18% in 2010. In 2009, exports fell 21.9%, not as sharp as the government’s forecast drop of 25%.

The main electronics industry group expects shipments to grow 20% or more this year on strong demand from China and India.

The government may consider raising its 2.6%-3.6% economic growth target for 2010 amid a slew of strong indicators this year. (PIA-Bohol)

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