THE quantity and value of domestic trade increased by 5.4 percent and 6.14 percent, respectively, in the first quarter of 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday.
PSA data showed that volume in the quarter reached 5.11 million metric tons (MMT) from 4.85 MMT a year ago, and value rose to P174.8 billion from P164.7 billion last year.
“Of the total quantity and value of domestic trade for the first quarter of 2018, nearly all were traded by means of water, while the remaining were traded through air,” PSA said.
Machinery and transport equipment remained the top commodity, accounting for about 31.8 percent (about P55.62 billion) of total value and 36.4 percent of total volume.
Other commodities with notable increases included food and live animals, whose value jumped to P41.38 billion from P40 billion in 2017; manufactured goods, classified chiefly by material, rising to P24.77 billion from P18.3 billion.
Mineral fuels; miscellaneous manufactured articles; chemical and related products; beverages and tobacco; crude materials; inedible except fuels; commodities and transactions; and animal and vegetable oils, fats, and waxes also saw increases.
“Among the regions, Central Visayas (Region 7) posted the highest quantity of traded commodities with 1.2 million tons during the first quarter of 2018. It was followed by Central Luzon (Region 3) and Northern Mindanao (Region 10) with 1.01 million tons and 0.79 million tons, respectively,” PSA said.
The National Capital Region (NCR) continues to be the source of commodities, with outflow value—value of goods that goes out of a particular region or province—at P37.62 billion in the quarter.
Rajiv Biswas, HIS Markit executive director and Asia-Pacific chief economist, welcomed the increase, saying it mirrored the “continued rapid growth of domestic trade, boosted by strong growth in consumption and investment.”
“The outlook for 2018 is for continued buoyant growth in domestic demand, which should underpin sustained strong expansion in domestic trade in the remainder of 2018,” he added.