Philippine imports surge, rating affirmed by Fitch

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Manila container terminalPhilippine imports surged 21.8 per cent in January 2014, their highest level in nearly three years, with imports of raw materials indicating further upward momentum for one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the government said on March 25. It was the biggest rise since March 2011, when imports grew by 21.9 per cent, National Statistics Office figures showed.

The Philippines grew by a remarkable 7.2 per cent in 2013 despite a series of disasters including the devastating super typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013. Its growth last year was second in Asia only to China, officials said. Imports surged due to a recovery in Philippine exports such as electronics and garments and increased spending on infrastructure, especially in areas affected by Yolanda, said Rosemarie Edillon, assistant director general of the government’s socio-economic planning agency.

Imported raw materials are a major input in many of the country’s key exports such as electronics and garments so the surging imports mean even higher exports later, she said.

The increase in shipments of steel, metal and chemical products were also an indication of the major construction efforts being undertaken, both to upgrade infrastructure and to rebuild the damage caused by the disasters, she added.

Imports in January hit $5.757 billion, up 21.8 per cent from the same period last year, the statistics office said. This resulted in a trade deficit of $1.376 billion in January, up 92 per cent from the same period in 2013. China was the biggest source of imports to the Philippines, accounting for 14.7 per cent of the total, with the US in second with 10.6 per cent, the statistics office added.

Meanwhile, rating agency Fitch has affirmed the Philippines’ Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings at ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BBB’, respectively. The outlooks are stable. The issue ratings on Philippines’ senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds are also affirmed at ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BBB’.

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Philippine imports surged 21.8 per cent in January 2014, their highest level in nearly three years, with imports of raw materials indicating further upward momentum for one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the government said on March 25. It was the biggest rise since March 2011, when imports grew by 21.9 per cent, National Statistics Office figures showed.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Manila container terminalPhilippine imports surged 21.8 per cent in January 2014, their highest level in nearly three years, with imports of raw materials indicating further upward momentum for one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the government said on March 25. It was the biggest rise since March 2011, when imports grew by 21.9 per cent, National Statistics Office figures showed.

The Philippines grew by a remarkable 7.2 per cent in 2013 despite a series of disasters including the devastating super typhoon “Yolanda” in November 2013. Its growth last year was second in Asia only to China, officials said. Imports surged due to a recovery in Philippine exports such as electronics and garments and increased spending on infrastructure, especially in areas affected by Yolanda, said Rosemarie Edillon, assistant director general of the government’s socio-economic planning agency.

Imported raw materials are a major input in many of the country’s key exports such as electronics and garments so the surging imports mean even higher exports later, she said.

The increase in shipments of steel, metal and chemical products were also an indication of the major construction efforts being undertaken, both to upgrade infrastructure and to rebuild the damage caused by the disasters, she added.

Imports in January hit $5.757 billion, up 21.8 per cent from the same period last year, the statistics office said. This resulted in a trade deficit of $1.376 billion in January, up 92 per cent from the same period in 2013. China was the biggest source of imports to the Philippines, accounting for 14.7 per cent of the total, with the US in second with 10.6 per cent, the statistics office added.

Meanwhile, rating agency Fitch has affirmed the Philippines’ Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings at ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BBB’, respectively. The outlooks are stable. The issue ratings on Philippines’ senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds are also affirmed at ‘BBB-‘ and ‘BBB’.

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