PH manufacturing up 7.5% in November
MANILA, Philippines –The Philippine manufacturing sector rose in November 2015, led by demand for consumer goods, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Tuesday, January 12.
In the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for November 2015, the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) grew by 7.5%, reversing a dip of 1.8% in October.
The Value of Production Index (VaPI) also increased by 1.0% in the same month after posting declines since April 2015.
“The increased growth in manufacturing despite the continued weak global demand shows the resiliency of our domestic economy. This could also potentially support stronger fourth-quarter 2015 growth of the industry,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, in a statement.
He added that the sector is expected to grow further until December 2015 on the back of robust domestic demand, increased inflow of remittances, stable inflation, and low fuel prices.
“We must aggressively pursue efforts to encourage innovation to help the manufacturing sector realize its potential as driver of economic growth. We have to explore and invest in new technology to enhance existing product base to maintain competitiveness in the regional and global market,” said Balisacan, who serves as NEDA Director-General.
Tobacco up, food production still down
On the consumer goods front, tobacco maintained its robust growth in November 2015, posting a 52.7% and 54.1% growth rate in volume and value of production, respectively, despite the slowdown from its 3-digit growth in the previous month.
In contrast, the food subsector continued to decline in both production volume and value, dropping by 10% in volume and 9.8% in value.
NEDA said that this was due to a fall in production triggered by the low demand for tuna products, low supply of sugar, and inadequate supply of raw materials for the production of vegetable and animal oils.
For intermediate goods, leather goods posted a double-digit growth of 23.7% in volume, and 24.9% in value of production.
Basic metals grew by 25.1% and 11.3%, continuing the growth for October 2015, and offsetting the negative performance since May.
The transport sector also grew by 9.5% in volume and 8.7% in value, which NEDA attributes to the sustained strong sales in passenger and commercial vehicles.
Meanwhile, the average capacity utilization slightly grew to 83.6% from 83.5% the previous year, with basic metals posting the highest utilization rate of 88.6%.
Among surveyed firms, 25.4% are operating at full capacity (90-100%), 55.8% at 70-89% capacity, and 18.8% operating at below 70% capacity, NEDA said.
In 2016, the business sector is seen to benefit from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which NEDA said is expected to accelerate investments, create additional employment, and generate more income in the Philippines.
However, Balisacan said, “to fully benefit from the ASEAN economic integration, the government needs to improve the business climate by amending restrictive legislation and simplifying complicated business-related processes and regulations." – Rappler.com