Economist sees recovery in manufacturing in April

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 29, 2024, 1:01 pm

<p>Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort. <em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort. (PNA file photo) 

MANILA – The country's manufacturing output likely recovered in April from a contraction in March, an economist said.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation chief economist Michael Ricafort told the Philippine News Agency in a Viber message on Wednesday that the decline in value and output of the manufacturing sector in March was due to the lower number of working days during the Holy Week.

A report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the value of production index contracted by 1.7 percent in March, a reversal from the 9.1-percent expansion in March last year and 5.7-percent growth seen in February 2024.

The volume of production index also declined by 0.8 percent from a 7.2-percent expansion in February.

"More working days in April 2024 would lead to month-on-month recovery in manufacturing," Ricafort said.

He said the seasonal pick up in economic activities during the summer season and more tourism activities around the country due to better weather conditions for travel will also lead to the recovery of manufacturing.

Ricafort said manufacturing is expected to grow in the coming months.

"[This is] signaled relatively higher manufacturing capacity utilization at above 75 percent in recent months," he said.

Based on responding establishments, the average capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector was at 75.3 percent in March this year, slightly higher than the 75.1 percent in the previous month. (PNA)