Source: Philippine Star
Imports sustained their growth trajectory for the fourth consecutive month in June on increased inbound shipment of capital and consumer goods, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said yesterday.
The total value of goods imported by the country in June amounted to $6.85 billion, an increase of 15.4 percent from the $5.94 billion recorded during the same period a year ago. Imports registered a decline of 5.6 percent in February, recovering in March and the succeeding months.
“This performance shows the strength of domestic demand in the country, particularly in consumption and investment as reflected by the latest real GDP (gross domestic product) growth of seven percent in the second quarter,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Eight major commodity groups recorded positive growth rates in inbound shipments during the month. These were: telecommunication equipment and electrical machinery, plastics in primary and non-primary forms, iron and steel, industrial machinery and equipment, power generating and specialized machinery, miscellaneous manufactured articles, transport equipment, and other food and live animals.
Declines were seen in the importation of electronic products, as well as mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials.
Inward shipments of capital goods – production inputs – rose 64.6 percent in June, amounting to $2.2 billion.
Cumulative imports for January to June 2016 amounted to $38.75 billion, up by 17.7 percent from $32.92 billion in the same period of last year.
The Philippine imports also continued to outperform those of other Asian countries in June. Vietnam’s imports grew by 1.9 percent; Malaysia’s imports registered a negative one percent growth; Indonesia, negative 6.8 percent, India, negative 7.3 percent, China, negative 8.4 percent; and Thailand, negative 10.1 percent.
“This bodes well for the economy as it signals robust investment activity in industry and services moving forward,” said Pernia.
Imports of consumer goods likewise increased 32.6 percent to $1.17 billion in June 2016. Higher spending were observed for both durable goods, particularly passenger cars and motorcycles, and non-durable goods such as food and live animals.
In terms of sourcing, China remains as the country’s biggest source of imports with payments of $1.29 billion recorded in June, up 45.8 percent from $882.92 million in June 2015.
Pernia said growth in imports is expected to be sustained amid the weakness in the global economy.
“The trend of imports growth is expected to remain positive, albeit at a slightly lower pace due to a relatively weak outlook for electronics exports, which will affect the importation of electrical equipment. However, strong construction activity will continue to boost spending on durable equipment and capital goods,” he said.
Pernia said it is important to support growth enhancing measures that would sustain consumption and investment.
“These include continuous government spending on infrastructure, such as modernization of seaports and airports to ease the flow of goods into and within the country, and a comprehensive tax reform package to boost consumer spending and investments,” he said.