Manila Bulletin

Manufactur­ing output further improves in Feb.


Strong economic growth will further expand manufactur­ing production on the back of continued government reforms for the economy, the National Economic and Developmen­t Authority (NEDA) said yesterday.

In the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) for manufactur­ing grew by 24.8 percent in February this year, higher than the 9.8 percent registered in the previous year.

This signals a continued improvemen­t from its slowdown since the second quarter of 2017, the NEDA said.

“The increasing working-age population, rising productivi­ty, improvemen­t in business environmen­t, and aggressive infrastruc­ture developmen­t will also help spur growth in the sector,” Socioecono­mic Planning Undersecre­tary Rosemarie G. Edillon said.

The Value of Production Index (VaPI), likewise increased by 23.6 percent. This led to the three-month moving average growth rate of both indexes remain to the positive territory at 12.9 and 11.7 percent.

“The industries’ outlook for both the current and succeeding quarters remains bullish with the expectatio­n of sustained robust demand, improvemen­t in production capacity, new product lines, and enhanced marketing strategies,” she said.

This positive business sentiment of Philippine industries mirrored the high business confidence among Asian companies for the first quarter of 2018.

“However, risks to growth remain. The government must remain cautious of increasing inflation which may lead to higher cost of production for manufactur­ing firms. Strategies are needed to be pursued to sustain the upward growth trajectory of the manufactur­ing sector,” Edillon noted.

She said that to attain this, the government needs to encourage all forms of innovation in manufactur­ing and manufactur­ing-related services, and to enhance the capacity of domestic firms especially micro, small and medium enterprise­s. “We need these initiative­s to produce raw materials and intermedia­te goods that meet the requiremen­ts of internatio­nal markets,” Edillon said.

“We also need to pursue bureaucrat­ic and regulatory reforms that incentiviz­e compliance across all levels of government to eliminate red tape and reduce the cost of doing business,” she added. (CSL)

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