Manufacturing output up 19.8% in May

By Leslie Gatpolintan

July 5, 2018, 7:44 pm

MANILA -- The manufacturing sector posted stronger growth in May, bouncing back from last year's decline, as it is being driven by the expansion of businesses amid rising consumer demand.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Thursday that the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) for manufacturing went up 19.8 percent last May, recovering from a negative 0.6 percent during the same month last year.

Fourteen major sectors exhibited increases, with seven registering two-digit growth, and printing with three-digit growth of 117.8 percent.
Petroleum products, food manufacturing, miscellaneous manufactures, textiles, electrical machinery, and rubber and plastic products posted significant increases.

The PSA said the Value of Production Index (VaPI) for manufacturing grew 21.3 percent last May from negative 2.6 percent during the same month last year, based on the preliminary results of the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI).

Growth was led by 13 major sectors, with printing posting a three-digit increase of 107.2 percent; followed by petroleum products (56.6 percent), and food manufacturing (32.5 percent).

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon attributed the strong growth in the output of the printing sub-sector to the seasonal demand for educational materials.

NEDA expects optimistic business sentiment and stable consumer confidence to continue supporting the further growth of the manufacturing sector towards the end of the second quarter of 2018.

“Higher demand due to school enrollment and harvest periods, expansion of businesses and new product lines, and ongoing rollout of public infrastructure projects are anticipated to further increase manufacturing production,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.

Pernia urged the private sector to continue investing to further increase productivity. “Such investments will greatly contribute to employment and income growth of our labor force,” he said.

Pernia further said the government remains committed to addressing factors that could hamper growth, such as rising trade tensions and higher interest rates. “It is important to enhance the production capacity of enterprises, to address infrastructure gaps to decrease production costs, and to provide workers with necessary knowledge and skills,” he added. (PNA)