- Trade deficit in January of DKK 5.74 billion
- Exports fall 13.5% y/y, the most in 3 years
- Imports rose 3.9%, the first time in 3 months
MANILA, March 14 (Reuters) – The Philippines ran its largest trade deficit in five months for January as exports fell sharply, pointing to a worsening trade balance that could put pressure on the peso in the near term.
The trade gap in January widened to $5.74 billion, the largest since August’s record monthly deficit of $6 billion, preliminary government data showed on Tuesday.
Exports (PHEXP=ECI) saw their sharpest drop in nearly three years, down 13.5% to $5.2 billion from a year earlier, while imports (PHIMP=ECI) grew 3.9% to $11 billion from same period in 2022.
It was the first monthly increase for imports in three months.
The trade gap in January was worse than the roughly $4.3 billion deficit that ING had forecast.
“The persistent trade deficit in the Philippines points to a depreciation pressure for … the Philippine peso in the near term,” ING senior economist Nicholas Mapa said.
The peso has fallen more than 2% since hitting 53.65 per US dollar on February 3, its strongest close so far this year. It was at 55.03, as of 0216 GMT.
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Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty
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