July 25, 2012 / 1:11 AM / 6 years ago

Philippines' May imports climb 10.1 pct yr/yr

 * Electronics imports down 15.3 pct yr/yr to $1.44 bln
 * May trade deficit $454 million
 * Jan-May trade deficit at $3.22 billion
 MANILA, July 25 (Reuters) - Philippine imports in May
climbed 10.1 percent from a year earlier, the statistics office
said on Wednesday.
  KEY DATA         May    Apr     Mar   Feb   Jan    Dec    Nov
  Imports ($ bln)  5.39   4.77   5.37   5.0   5.13   4.63   5.0
  yr/yr chg (pct)  10.1  -13.6   -3.3   2.5   -3.2   -6.4   0.7
  - The country's largest imports are inputs used by the
semiconductor and electronics industry, also the biggest export
sector and a major contributor to the economy. Imports of
electronic parts slid 15.3 percent in May from a year earlier
after the previous month's 22 percent drop.
  - Philippine exports in May rose 19.7 percent from a year
earlier, its fastest growth in 17 months, helped by a low base
from last year, boding well for the country's overall growth
this year. 
 - The government has forecast exports would grow 10 percent
this year, but it has revised down its 2012 imports growth
forecast to 12 percent from 15 percent as manufacturers feel the
brunt of the global economic slowdown.
 - The Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the
Philippines Inc cut its export growth forecast this year to 5-7
percent from 10-15 percent on slowing external demand, although
the group is hopeful of a rebound in orders in the second half
after current inventory cuts stabilise. 
 - Apart from electronic parts and fuel, other top imports
are cereals such as rice, electrical and industrial machinery,
transport equipment, iron, steel and metal scraps.
 - The Philippine central bank is widely expected to keep its
key policy rate on hold for a third meeting in a row on
Thursday, with the economy seen steaming ahead on the back of
strong domestic demand while  inflation stays on target this
year and next. 
 - The country's economic managers believe this year's
economic growth target of 5 to 6 percent is achievable after the
economy's faster-than-expected expansion of 6.4 percent in the
first three months of the year. 
 - In 2011, GDP growth was 3.7 percent, below the
government's forecast.

 (Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Rosemarie Francisco)
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