7.8% Growth Not Enough, Says PhilExport

MANILA, Philippines - The 7.8 percent growth in exports in July was a lot better than the 4.3 percent growth in June, but exporters said the growth still fell short of its 10 percent growth target for the year. Unless exports will grow by an average of 11 to 11.5 percent for the next five months, the 10 percent growth target cannot be met.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport), said the July growth was buoyed by non-electronics exporters, whose earnings could have been impacted already by the strong peso climb since May this year.

"Our non-electronics exporters already took a loss in June-July period, I just hope they did not cut their deliveries for August otherwise we are going to have dip in the coming months," Ortiz-Luis said.

"If they (indigenous exports) are going to maintain their level of growth now and the electronics sector improves a little for the remaining five months, then we should be able to grow by an average of 11 to 11.5 percent to hit our full year growth target of between 9 and 10 percent," he said.

"It is a good indication except that it is non-electronics because if these non-electronics go down in August because of the foreign exchange factor it may impact on overall growth unless the electronics will improve in the coming months," he said.

Electronic products, the Philippines' main export item, fell 25.6% to $1.68 billion from $2.25 billion a year earlier. Electronic exports declined 11.2% from June, when shipments reached $1.88 billion.

Exports in the January-July period totaled $31.56 billion, up 7.7% from $29.31 billion a year earlier.