Silver lining in the clouds signal for the economy to gear up towards recovery
Philippine Economy

Silver lining in the clouds signal for the economy to gear up towards recovery

Oct 14, 2021, 12:01 PM
Alfredo P. Hernandez

Alfredo P. Hernandez

Writer

It’s about time to ease up and lessen the damage from the pandemic and those policies that tried to deal with—they have affected our ways of life and modes of earning a living; that business and industry should now be gradually freed to do what they do best: to make money for the people and the economy.

THE gradual easing up of health protocols that have been blamed over the past 19 months for the slowdown in the country’s economic activities could now be the signal for business, trade, and industry to gear up for a frantic race towards recovery.

The thin, silver lining in the clouds hovering over the economy is just encouraging.

The latest statistics just released by the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) are showing tall promises for every investor, businessman, entrepreneur, and economic observer to sit straight and watch what has been going on in every nook and cranny where economic activities are taking place.

This is because, despite the prolonged pandemic triggered by the Covid-19 crisis, the Philippines grew its total external trade in goods in August by an annual rate of 25.3 percent.

The country’s external trade is fed with goods coming out of thousands of production centers across the country, such as factories and industrial zones, which have been gradually allowed to resume production.

And these industrial and other valuable outputs from these facilities are most desired by our neighboring trading partners such as China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Of course, we cannot ignore the growing market for our products in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – member countries.

Our economic policymakers and enforcers should now listen to the muffled voice coming out of these economic statistics:

It’s about time to ease up and lessen the damage from the pandemic and those policies that tried to deal with—they have affected our ways of life and modes of earning a living; that business and industry should now be gradually freed to do what they do best: to make money for the people and the economy.

Besides, the health of the people versus Covid-19 is now well taken care of by the government on the ground.

Notably, in the previous month of July, the annual increase was recorded at 22.9 percent. External trade suffered a decline of -15.6 percent 12 months ago in August 2020.

The preliminary figures just released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), noted that of the total external trade in August 2021, 60.8 percent were in imported goods while the rest were exported goods.

Of the total external trade in August 2021, 60.8 percent were in imported goods (US$10.043 billion), while the rest were exported goods (US$6.47 billion).

Figures showed that during the month in review, the country’s balance of trade in goods amounted to US$3.58 billion, representing a trade deficit with an annual increase of 64.1 percent.

The trade deficit in the previous month recorded an annual increase of 71.4 percent, while in August 2020, it was at -27.5 percent.

PSA figures showed that the country’s export in August 2021 posted positive growth. Total export sales during the month in review jumped 17.6 percent, to US$6.47 billion, from an increase of 13.8 percent, or US$6,485.44 in July 2021. In August 2020, total export sales dropped at an annual rate of -27.7 percent.

All the top 10 major commodity groups in terms of the value of exports, recorded annual increases led by cathodes & sections of cathodes, of refined copper (162.5 percent). This was followed by electronic equipment and parts (41.8 percent), and coconut oil (31.8 percent).

Year-to-date total export increased

The cumulative export earnings from January to August 2021 amounted to US$48.93 billion, a 19.6 percent increase from the export value earned from January to August 2020.

By commodity group, electronic products continued to be the country’s top export in August 2021 with total earnings of US$3.69 billion.

This amount accounted for 57.1 percent of the total exports during the period. This was followed by other manufactured goods with an export value of US$374.42 million (5.8 percent); and other mineral products which amounted to US$294.56 million (4.6 percent).

The latest figures revealed that manufactured goods still comprised the biggest chunk of total exports among major types of goods.

By major type of goods, exports of manufactured goods shared the biggest to the total exports in August 2021 amounting to US$5.36 billion (82.8 percent).

This was followed by mineral products with a share of US$574.86 million (8.9 percent); and total agro-based products which contributed US$406.43 million (6.3 percent).

By major trading partner, exports to the People’s Republic of China comprised the highest export value amounting to US$1.05 billion or a share of 16.2 percent to the total exports during the month.

Completing the top five major export trading partners with their export values and percent shares to the total exports were:

a.United States, US$1.02 billion (15.8 percent);

b.Japan, US$940.46 million (14.5 percent);

c.Hong Kong, US$930.83 million (14.4 percent); and

d.Singapore, US$392.12 million (6.1%).

Majority of exports were for APEC countries

By economic bloc, most of the country’s merchandise exports in August 2021 went to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries with a share of US$5.53 billion (85.6%).

This was followed by East Asia, valued at US$3.31 billion (51.2%), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which amounted to US$1.04 billion (16.0%).

Tags: #economy, #internationaltrade, #Covid19, #economicrecover, #exports, #manufacturing


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