Manufacturing grew 3.9 percent in October from a year ago, the slowest in 10 months, pulled down by lower food production, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The October 2018 figure, however, was an improvement from a decline of 6.6 percent in the same month last year.
National Economic and Development Authority director-general and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said strong consumer demand and an optimistic business outlook would likely sustain the growth of factory output for the rest of the year.
The value of production index climbed 3.1 percent in October, a reversal of the 6-percent contraction a year ago.
Both VoPI and VaPI have been on positive territory for 10 consecutive months since January 2018.
Increases in the production of petroleum, export-oriented products and non-metallic mineral products drove the expansion of manufacturing output in October.
Neda said manufacturing of construction-related products, such as iron and steel and cement, would be driven by government’s spending on infrastructure and other capital outlay and the sustained growth in private construction activities.
“Over the near-to medium-term, we see that the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program and the recently signed Regular Foreign Investment Negative List will help in raising the productivity of the manufacturing sector,” Pernia said.
He said aside from increasing foreign participation in contracts for construction and repair of locally funded public works, the RFINL allows foreign-owned training centers that specialize in skills development, upgrading the proficiency of the local workforce.
MISSI is a monthly report that monitors the production, net sales, inventories, and capacity utilization of selected manufacturing establishments to provide flash indicators on the performance of the manufacturing sector.