Based on the report from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines' trade gap, which is the difference between the value of exports and imports, increased to USD5.74bn in January 2023. This is 27.2% wider than the previous year's deficit of USD4.51bn and 11.9% higher than the USD4.50bn in December 2022. The trade deficit is the largest since the record-high monthly deficit of USD6.02bn in August 2022. The country's merchandise exports in January 2023 amounted to USD5.23bn, which is 9.8% lower than the USD5.80bn in December 2022 and down by 13.5% from USD6.05bn in January 2022. Of the top 10 major commodity groups in terms of export value, six posted declines in January this year from a year ago. The widening trade deficit can be attributed to several factors, including the slowing global economy, supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, and the high import dependence of the Philippines.
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