PHILIPPINE exports in December rose at its fastest pace in nearly four years, but the full-year figure was the worst contraction on record.
Data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that exports in December last year rose 23.6 percent to $3.304 billion from $2.675 billion in the same month in 2008.
The last time sales overseas of Philippine-made goods surged this much was in March 2006 when growth hit 26.3 percent.
Last December’s exports, however, were down by 11 percent from $3.712 billion in November.
The December figure led exports to contract by 21.9 percent to $38.327 billion in 2009, still better than the government’s projection of 25 percent for the full year.
Electronics, which accounted for 56.9 percent of the total export revenues in December surged 40.9 percent $1.88 billion from $1.335 billion in the same month of 2008.
Month-on-month, shipments of the Philippines’ top product went down by 12.4 percent from $2.148 billion in November 2009.
Electronics manufacturers had said that the industry in November began recovering from the worst global slump in decades, but cautioned that the rebound would not be quick.
After economic growth slumped to its worst since the Asian financial crisis at 0.9 percent last year, the government forecast Philippine gross domestic product to expand at a faster 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent this year on the strength of remittance-led household consumption and election-related spending, as well as gains in exports.
Besides electronics, the NSO said earnings from the shipment of ignition wiring set and other wiring sets used in vehicles, aircrafts and ships jumped 85.3 percent to $85.64 million in December from its year ago level of $46.22 million.
Sales of articles of apparel and clothing accessories, however, dropped 17.8 percent to $131.54 million from $159.96 million in December 2008.
Woodcrafts and furniture exports also fell 16.1 percent to $68.16 million from $81.25 million in December 2008.
The United States remained the Philippines’ top foreign market for December with revenues amounting to $627.86 million, up 9.4 percent from $573.98 million in 2008.
Japan ranked second with purchase of $507.46 million from the Philippines, up from $457.68 million in December 2008. –DARWIN G. AMOJELAR Senior Reporter, Manila Times