MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) disclosed that the Philippines’ merchandise exports declined by 6.3 percent in August – the fifth consecutive month of negative export growth this year.
“The latest export performance mirrors the recent developments in the global economy: the slowing down of global trade, sluggish momentum in industrial production in major economies, and downward price pressure on commodities,” NEDA Director General Arsenio Balisacan said in a Philippine Star report.
“Moreover, the exports sector remains constrained by sluggish global demand, low oil prices, and most importantly, the threat of El Niño to the agriculture sector,” Balisacan added.
The country’s total revenue from exports dropped to $5.1 billion last month from 5.5 billion in the same period last year. Export has been expected to drop in the succeeding months with the continuous weak global demand.
Apart from Vietnam, other countries in the East and Southeast Asia also had negative export growths, partly due to the ongoing El Niño phenomenon. Balisacan then urged the government to make policies that will raise spending and strong domestic consumption.
“It shows that global demand continues to be weak, we are seeing that across Asia. But it does not mean that Philippine growth is going to collapse as we saw domestic demand holding up the economy,” ING bank economist Jose Mario Cuyegkeng said in a different report.