Revised 2022 trade tallies show narrower deficit

THE record trade deficit in 2022 has been revised slightly lower to $58.24 billion from the $58.32 billion initially reported, the Philippine Statistics Authority said.

The revised deficit in 2021 was $42.19 billion.

The 2022 deficit is the largest since 1991, the earliest year for which the indicator is available.

The value of merchandise exports in 2022 was revised upwards to $78.98 billion from $78.84 billion initially. The revised tally represents a 5.7% increase from 2021.

Imports were also revised upwards to $137.22 billion from $137.16 billion. The revised total is 17.4% higher compared with 2021.

Last year’s import growth missed the 20% full-year target set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee, while exports surpassed the 4% goal.

Exports and imports in 2022 were both at record levels.

The last years the Philippines was a net exporter were 1999 and 2000, when it reported trade surpluses of $4.29 billion and $3.59 billion, respectively.

The government expects exports and imports to grow by 3% and 4%, respectively, this year. — Lourdes O. Pilar