We welcome the latest outlook of the world’s leading provider of independent credit ratings, S&P Global Ratings, on the country’s growth by 6.6% for 2017, which is higher than its previous outlook of 6.4% and still within the government’s target range of 6.5% to 7.5%.
The 0.2% growth is attributed to the electronics-driven export boom that started in the third quarter of 2017. This is in line with the recent preliminary report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showing that the Philippine merchandise exports maintained its double-digit positive performance in the first ten months of 2017 at 11.68% compared to the same period in 2016. The country’s total merchandise exports for January to October 2017 was valued at $53.11 billion compared to $47.55 billion in the same period of the previous year.
The country’s top merchandise export sector – Electronic Products with receipts of $26.97 billion — grew double digits at 10.65% from January to October 2017. The positive performance of six out of nine subsectors of the electronics industry contributed a 97.95% share in the cumulative total value of the electronics industry. The semiconductors subsector, which grew by 10.96% in the first ten months of 2017, contributed a 72.18% share to Electronics and a 36.65% share to total PH exports. The other electronics subsectors that posted substantial increases were Office Equipment (61.15%), Communication/Radar (49.92%), Consumer Electronics (20.70%), Electronic Data Processing (10.40%), and Control and Instrumentation (9.74%).
Apart from Electronic Products, robust export growth has also been observed in a broad range of non-electronics product sectors such as machinery and transport, coconut products, processed food and beverages, forest products, mineral products, non-metallic mineral manufactures as well as design-driven products including garments, articles of apparel and clothing accessories, footwear, textile yarns/fabrics, travel goods and handbags, furniture and fixtures, ceramic tiles and décor. For the same period, the total non-electronics export receipts, amounting to $26.14 billion, likewise grew double digits at 12.77%.