The Philippines’ exports in December last year reached 4.6 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 15.8 percent and over 7 percent more than the previous month, according to the country’s Statistics Authority.

The December figures showed a continued upward trend for the 7th consecutive month, making the country the top export performer in selected economies in East and Southeast Asia.

The Philippines outshone Vietnam (12.6 percent), Indonesia (8.5 percent), Malaysia (7.6 percent), the Republic of Korea (7.0 percent), Singapore (5.6 percent), China (4.3 percent) and Thailand (1.9 percent). It also outperformed other economies in the region which posted negative export growth, such as Taiwan (-1.9 percent), Hong Kong (-3.0 percent) and Japan (-6.2 percent).

The positive export performance of the Philippines – and even those of the majority of trade-orientated economies in East and Southeast Asia – reflected the recovery in major economies such as the US, EU and Japan, said Arsenio Balisacan, who is also head of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

He added that the export growth resulted from the robust outward sales of manufactured goods, most notably electronics. Manufactured goods expanded by 20.8 percent year on year.

Japan remained the top destination for Philippine exports in the month, accounting for 23 percent of the country’s total overseas sales, with a total value of 1.06 billion USD, up 48.1 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Overall, the Philippines’ exports reached 54 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent.-VNA