Philippines' trade deficit hits lowest in more than 5-yrs

MANILA, June 10 (Reuters) - The Philippines’ trade deficit narrowed to the lowest in more than five years in April, the statistics agency said on Wednesday, as imports plunged by a record amount amid slowing activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 65.3% drop in imports in April was greater than the record 50.8% fall in exports, resulting in a trade deficit of $499 million.

Hefty declines were recorded in the import of transport equipment, iron and steel, industrial machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, among others, as domestic economic activity slowed due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.

The Philippine economy is expected to contract for the first time in more than two decades this year. (Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales Editing by Ed Davies)