Merchandise exports fell 4.6% year-on-year in September, following August’s decline of 0.2%. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 16.0% yoy in September (August: +25.7% yoy).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a surplus of $0.7 billion in September (August 2022: surplus of $0.3 billion; September 2021: surplus of $1.6 billion). Finally, the trend was to the downside, with the 12-month lagging goods trade balance recording a surplus of $12.5 billion in September, compared to a surplus of $13.5 billion in August.
LatinFocus Consensus forecast committee members expect merchandise exports to increase by 0.6% in 2023, and merchandise imports to increase by 1.6%, resulting in a trade surplus of US$12.5 billion. In 2024, our team estimates merchandise exports and imports to grow at 4.9% and 3.4%, respectively, with a trade surplus of $13.9 billion.