Double-digit growth in exports and imports boosted the Philippines' merchandise trade by 16.1 percent in February, the government said on Tuesday.
The National Economic and Development Authority said total trade grew 11.3 billion U.S. dollar pushed up by imports which grew by 20.3 percent and exports, 11 percent.
"We see this as a strong follow-though to the 14.2 percent growth of total Philippine trade recorded in January, keeping our country's economy on track in sustaining its momentum go growth," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.
The agency said that exports earnings rose to billion U.S. dollar, mainly driven by 6.2 percent growth in volume of manufactured goods. 99.5 percent growth in mineral and 224.6 percent growth in petroleum products.
Pernia said the "healthy growth" in Philippine exports was mainly driven by higher exports to East Asian countries, comprising 48.3 percent share in total exports.
"Receipts from China surged by 66 percent and 24.7 percent growth, respectively," he said.
Pernia also noted that Philippine exports to ASEAN countries grew by 18.8 percent in the same period, "a good sign that the country is forging stronger connections with its Asian neighbors."
"The performance of trade in the first two months of the year is a good inception that we are on an upward trajectory," Pernia said.
"With ASEAN chairmanship and China's rebalancing to a more consumer-oriented growth, the Philippines is expected to have expansions in terms of products and markets," he added.