MANILA, PhilippinesImports eked out a 2.7-percent year-on-year growth in February to end 21 straight months of decline, but private sector economists on Thursday (April 8) said year-to-date shipments did not show a return to strong domestic demand yet.
Preliminary Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed the value of imported goods last February rose to $7.6 billion from $7.4 billion a year ago.
The year-on-year declines in monthly imports started in May 2019 and dragged on as the Philippines slid into its worst post-war recession last year.
The PSA also on Thursday said its revised estimates showed that gross domestic product (GDP) fell 9.6 percent in 2020, a bigger drop than the 9.5 percent announced by the government in January.
Last year, imports slid 19.5 percent to $89.8 billion while merchandise exports dropped 8.1 percent to $65.2 billion. Total external trade shrank 15.1 percent to $155 billion in 2020.