Philippine exports grew faster than expected last month despite a fall in outbound shipments of electronic products.

Exports rose 4.5 per cent year on year in December to $4.87bn, coming in well above a median estimate from economists predicting 2.9 per cent growth.

Outbound shipments of electronic products, the country’s top export, fell 2.8 per cent, but still accounted for 50.3 per cent of the total. Exports to Japan increased 2.8 per cent to $946m while outbound shipments to the US slipped 6.7 per cent to $685m.

Imports rose 19.1 per cent year-on-year to $7.4bn in December, besting a median estimate of 10.7 per cent.

Those trade flows resulted in the deficit holding level at $2.6bn, defying expectations it would shrink to $2.2 billion.

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