July 25, 2014 / 1:20 AM / 3 years ago

Philippines' May imports down 9.6 pct on yr, first fall in 7 mths

* Electronics imports down 1.2 pct yr/yr to $1.26 bln
    * May trade surplus at $718 million
    * Jan-May trade deficit at $1.97 billion

    MANILA, July 25 (Reuters) - Philippine imports in May fell
9.6 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office said on
Friday.  
        
KEY DATA                May    Apr    Mar    Feb    Jan    Dec  
 
Total imports ($ bln)   4.77   5.35   5.48   4.79   5.96   5.45 
 
yr/yr chg (pct)         -9.6   3.8    10.6    1.7    24.7   2.7 
  

Electronics ($ bln)     1.26   1.04   1.20   1.28   1.29   1.28 
 
yr/yr chg (pct)         -1.2   -3.1   -3.5    2.2   12.1    --  
 

    NOTE: Some numbers for April were revised. Previous data for
2014 were revised. The Philippine Statistics Authority had
revised the trade data series for 2013 and is in the process of
reworking data for 2012 and earlier years.

    KEY POINTS:
    - Top imports in May were electronic products, accounting
for 26.5 percent of the total, posting a decline of 1.2 percent
from a year ago. 
    - Mineral fuel imports were the second top shipment with a
13.9 percent share, falling 43.6 percent from a year earlier.
    - The Philippines had a trade surplus of $718 million in
May, bringing the trade gap in the first five months of the year
to $1.97 billion.
    - The electronics industry group has forecast electronic
exports will grow 5 percent this year.
    - The Philippine government expects imports in 2014 to grow
9 percent, ahead of a previous forecast of 6 percent, before
rising to 10 percent next year and 12 percent in 2016, on higher
shipments of construction materials for rebuilding after last
year's super typhoon and the start of big infrastructure
projects. 
    - Manila kept its export growth estimates at 6 percent this
year, 8 percent next year and 10 percent in 2016.
    - Officials have set an economic growth target of 6.5-7.5
percent this year, after growth of 7.2 percent in 2013.

 (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz and Karen Lema; Editing by Paul
Tait)

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