AS EXTERNAL challenges remain in the region, merchandise trade growth in the Philippines and in most Asian economies softened in December 2018, the National Economic and Development Authority said.
“Merchandise trade in all the monitored Asian economies continued to weaken in the last month of 2018, as the region began to feel the impact of the weakening Chinese economy and the US-China trade tension,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s total merchandise trade contracted by 10.5 percent, reaching US$13.2 billion in December.
This is the first negative growth posted since July 2016.
Still, total merchandise trade for the full year of 2018 grew by 7.0 percent, reaching $176.4 billion, compared with the $164.8 billion recorded in 2017. (PR)