Philippine February exports post steepest drop in 14 mths

Tue Apr 9, 2013 9:05pm EDT

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* Exports in February at $3.74 bln vs yr-ago $4.43 bln
    * Electronics shipments down 36.5 pct in Feb from yr ago
    * Jan-Feb exports down 9.4 pct to $7.75 bln vs yr-ago $8.55

    MANILA, April 10 (Reuters) - The Philippines' statistics
office on Wednesday released data on February exports:    

Total exports        Feb    Jan     Dec    Nov    Oct    Sept   
yr/yr change (pct)  -15.6   -2.7    16.5   5.5    6.1    22.8   
in $ bln             3.74   4.01    3.97   3.55   4.41   4.78   
Electronics exports 
yr/yr growth (pct)  -36.5  -31.9    -5.5   13.3   0.3    1.0    
in $ bln             1.48   1.47    1.51   1.73   1.90   1.83   
    - The electronics industry group expects exports of the
sector, which comprise about half of the country's total, will
climb 5 to 6 percent this year after contracting 5.2 percent in
    - The Southeast Asian nation provides about 10 percent of
the world's semiconductor manufacturing services, including for
mobile phone chips and micro processors. 
    - The Philippine economy likely grew between 6 to 7 percent
in the first quarter from a year ago, according to Economic
Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, matching the government's
target for the year, on the back of strong domestic demand and
higher government spending.  
    - The Philippine central bank is widely expected to keep its
overnight borrowing rate steady at a record low of 3.5 percent
when it meets on April 25 after inflation eased for the first
time in four months in March.
    - The central bank has said it plans to release more
regulations as early as this month aimed at relaxing foreign
exchange rules to allow for more outflows to dampen a strong
peso that is hurting exports and families dependent on
remittances from Filipinos working abroad.
    - Other top Philippine exports in January include chemicals,
woodcrafts, and metal components. 
    National Statistics Office website

 (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and
Rosemarie Francisco)