PH June trade data gradually recover from 'negative trajectory'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 02:44 PM

Container vans stacked together are seen inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) compound in Manila on April 1, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The National Economic and Development Authority said Wednesday the country's exports and imports continued its gradual recovery in June 2020.

The total merchandise trade eased from its 'negative trajectory' in June with a slower decline of 19.9 percent from 35.3 percent contraction in May, data from the Philippine Statistics showed.

Exports declined by 13.3 percent from a 26.9 percent drop in May, as outward shipments of mineral products, manufactured products and forest products improved, data showed.

Imports recovered gradually with a 24.5 percent decline from 40.6 percent contraction in May due to "positive rebound" of shipments of unprocessed raw materials with the reopening of the economy.

The Philippines eased COVID-19 restrictions on June 1, emerging from an 11-week lockdown. However, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna were reverted back to modified enhanced community quarantine until Aug. 18 after confirmed cases surged.

The recent measure could affect businesses "for a limited period," said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua. 

“This slower decline in the country’s trade performance signals the resumption of economic activities,” Chua said.

“The two-week MECQ will allow the government to reassess approaches, procedures, and response protocols and capacities that may need to be improved to better contain the spread of the virus while ensuring that the gains from reopening the economy are not fully reversed,” he added.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno earlier said reverting back to MECQ has "limited impact" on the economy.