PH economy on path to recovery: DTI chief

By Kris Crismundo

November 4, 2020, 8:07 pm

<p>Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez </p>

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez 

MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on Wednesday said that economic recovery is generally on the right path despite the decline in manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in October.
Lopez said the slowdown in manufacturing activities last month reflects that the economy is still in the adjustment period.
“The slight decline in the Philippine manufacturing PMI merely reflects a pause in our economy’s recovery momentum,” he said in a statement.
IHS Markit reported Tuesday that the country’s PMI declined to 48.1 in October after signaling stability in September as the manufacturing score was at 50.1.
PMI is a monthly survey among businesses to measure the health of a sector based on new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times, and stocks of purchases.
A neutral mark of 50 separates expansion from deterioration of the sector.
“We are confident that the economy is generally on the path to recovery, although overall demand will still be subdued as compared to pre-pandemic levels, as some jobs are just starting to be recovered,” Lopez added.
He said not all consumers are back in the market despite the easing of restrictions by the government.
“There are still restrictions on age, movement, events, mass gathering, and tourism. But we have started the reopening of the economy and shall continue to do so gradually and safely," he said. 
The trade chief said lesser businesses have reported closure, however, there are still enterprises that reduce the number of their employees.
“Given this, our focus has been really empowering businesses to Covid-proof (coronavirus disease 2019) their operations and ensure strict implementation of health standards in establishments to boost consumer confidence,” Lopez added. (PNA)