MANILA (dpa-AFX) - The foreign trade deficit in Philippines increased notably in January from a year ago, preliminary figures from the Philippine Statistical Authority showed Wednesday.
The trade deficit widened to $2.64 billion at the start of the year from $862 billion in the corresponding month last year. Economists had expected the deficit to fall to $220 million.
Imports surged 30.8 percent year-over-year in January, in contrast to a 25.8 percent plunge in the preceding month. Meanwhile, it was expected to decline by 15.6 percent.
Imports of metal products jumped the most by 73.9 percent annually in January, followed by electronic products with 67.1 percent gain. Shipments of transport equipment and industry machinery & equipment also logged significant growth during the month.
People's Republic of China remained as the country's biggest source of imports at 17.9 percent share in January.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX