* Exports in March total $5.23 bln vs yr-ago $4.70 bln
* Electronics shipments up 10.1 pct from yr ago
MANILA May 9 The Philippines' statistics office released data on March exports on Friday:
Total exports Mar Feb Jan Dec Nov Oct yr/yr change (pct) 11.2 11.6 9.2 15.8 18.9 14.0 in $ bln 5.23 4.66 4.38 4.6 4.29 5.03 mth/mth change (pct) 12.2 6.3 -4.8 7.1 -14.6 -0.6
Electronics exports yr/yr growth (pct) 10.1 13.8 21.2 26.2 11.7 13.5 in $ bln 2.17 1.88 1.78 1.91 1.94 2.16 mth/mth change (pct) 15.2 5.6 -6.6 -1.9 -10 0.5 NOTE: Some numbers for previous months have been revised.
- Total exports in the first three months of the year were up 6.5 percent from a year ago to $14.26 billion.
- Electronics and semiconductors, which made up 41.4 percent of total exports in March, grew 10.1 percent against a contraction of 13.2 percent year ago.
- Other top exports included woodcrafts and furniture, machinery and transport equipment and ignition wirings used for vehicles and aircraft.
- The electronics industry group forecast electronic exports could grow 5 percent this year.
- The Southeast Asian nation provides about 10 percent of the world's semiconductor manufacturing services, including for mobile phone chips and micro processors.
- Based on the central bank's latest estimates, Philippine exports and imports are both expected to rise 6 percent this year.
- The Philippines expects its economy to grow 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year after expanding 7.2 percent in 2013, the fastest in Southeast Asia.
- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas kept its benchmark rate steady on Thursday but raised banks' reserve requirements for the second straight meeting, as expected, amid concerns that persistently high liquidity could stoke inflation
LINKS: Philippine Statistics Authority website www.psa.gov.ph (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz)