Factory output in November posted a modest recovery of 1 percent compared to the double-digit decline a year ago, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday.
Data showed the slower rate of expansion in the Volume of Production index for the month was an improvement from the 10.1-percent contraction in the same month a year ago.
“The increment was mainly due to the improved performance in VoPI which was observed in 14 major industry groups,” the PSA said.
It said two-digit increases were noted in textiles (45.8 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (25.6 percent), petroleum products (22 percent), tobacco products (21.1 percent), paper and paper products (15 percent), beverages (11.7 percent), and electrical machinery (11 percent).
The Value of Production Index for manufacturing also reflected an annual growth of 2.1 percent in November. In comparison with the figure in the same month of 2017, VaPI reported a two-digit decline of 10.6 percent.
Textiles industry with a 54.4-percent growth contributed largely to the increase of VaPI. It was followed by seven other major industries that registered two-digit increments in VaPI, namely tobacco products (45.3 percent), petroleum products (35.8 percent), miscellaneous manufactures(30.8 percent), beverages (26 percent), paper and paper products (20.7 percent), electrical machinery (18.2 percent), and non-metallic mineral products (10.6 percent).
Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, however, said the November figure showed a declining trend starting on the second half of 2018.
He also noted that factory output might be dampened by less optimistic business and consumer outlook in the fourth quarter as reported in the latest Business and Consumer Expectations Surveys of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“The upside factors that can help improve consumer outlook and prop up demand are the sustained slowdown of inflation in December on the back of the decline in rice and oil prices, and a rollback in minimum jeepney fare,” Pernia sad.
Pernia expects the moderate inflationary pressures in the coming months to result in the lower cost of inputs for the manufacturing sector and more opportunities for production expansion.
“We also expect that election-related spending will drive up manufacturing, particularly production of food, beverage, tobacco, printing and paper products,” Pernia said.