Contraction in factory output slower in Sept

Credit to Author: Anna Leah E. Gonzales| Date: Thu, 05 Nov 2020 16:24:51 +0000

The country’s manufacturing production, both in volume and value, continued to drop in September, but at a slower pace, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Results of the latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries on Thursday showed that the country’s volume of production index (VoPi) contracted by 8.4 percent in the month, slower than 9.0 percent in August but faster than 6.5 percent in the same month last year.

This Aug. 26, 2020 file photo shows workers of the Sasha Collection enterprise manufacture reusable hazmat suits instead of their usual dresses at a small factory in Taytay town, Rizal province for delivery to the provinces. The Philippine Statistics Authority on November 5 reported that the country’s manufacturing production continued to fall, but at a slower pace, in September. PHOTO BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI

Major contributors to the slower decline were the annual expansions in the indices of basic metals at 14.4 percent, food manufacturing at 10.2 percent, chemical products at 8.1 percent and miscellanous manufactures at 4.6 percent.

The value of production index (VaPi) also shrank by 11.9 percent, slower than August’s 13.3 percent decrease but faster than the 6.5 percent in September 2019.

The slower slide was attributed to year-on-year increases in the indices of basic metals at 12.3 percent, food manufacturing at 11.6 percent, chemical products at 5.6 percent and miscellaneous manufactures at 1.6 percent.

Commenting on the data, ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa told The Manila Times that despite the slower output decease, he was not optimistic about recovery for the rest of the year.

“We’ve noted that [the manufacturing] PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for October reverted to [a] contraction after a brief month of expansion, and thus we are not particularly optimistic that both VoPi and VaPi would bounce in the near term,” he said.

Earlier this week, IHS Markit reported that the country’s PMI slipped to 48.5 in October from 50.1 in September. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion; below that, a contraction.

“The economy remains in recession despite recent efforts to reopen the economy and we forecast a contraction in GDP (gross domestic product) all the way through to early 2021,” Mapa said.

The Philippines was plunged into a technical recession after domestic output shrank by a record 16.5 percent in the second quarter and 0.7 percent in the first. This brought the economic contraction to 9 percent in the first six months of 2020.

The government will release official third-quarter GDP growth data on November 11.

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