Philippines Nov imports up 2.2 pct on yr, 3-mth low
* Electronics imports down 8.8 pct yr/yr at $1.26 bln * Nov trade deficit at $1.59 billion * Jan-Nov trade deficit at $8.39 billion MANILA, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Philippine imports in November climbed 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office said on Friday. KEY DATA Nov Oct Sept Aug Jul Jun May Imports ($ bln) 5.14 5.24 5.27 5.06 4.96 5.09 5.39 yr/yr chg (pct) 2.2 4.3 3.6 -0.4 -0.8 13.0 10.1 KEY POINTS: - The country's largest imports are inputs used by the semiconductor and electronics industry, also the biggest export sector and a major contributor to the economy. Imports of electronic parts in November were down 8.8 percent from a year earlier, after a revised 8.7 percent rise in October. - The Philippine central bank lowered its 2012 export and import growth forecasts to 8 percent and 7 percent respectively in November, from previous estimates of 10 percent and 12 percent. - The industry group Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc expects exports from the sector to have been flat in 2012 due to sluggish demand, but will likely recover this year and grow 5 percent to 6 percent. - Exports, which account for about two-fifths of the country's GDP, climbed 5.5 percent in November from a year earlier, the weakest rate in three months, although electronics and semiconductors, which dominate exports, rose 13.3 percent from a year ago. - The Philippine economy may have grown around 6.5 percent in 2012, the economic planning chief said on Tuesday, higher than a government target of 5 to 6 percent, with growth momentum expected to be sustained this year, backed by infrastructure spending. (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Rosemarie Francisco and Edmund Klamann)
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