MANILA— The country’s manufacturing sector posted strong growth in the first half of 2016, as production of construction-related manufactures recovered in June 2016, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for June 2016, the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) grew by 8.5 percent, a turnaround from the 1.7 percent decline in the same period last year. Also, the Value of Production Index (VaPI) grew by 4.7 percent. Similarly, Volume of Net Sales Index (VoNSI) marked a strong growth of 7.1 percent while the Value of Net Sales Index (VaNSI) grew by 3.4 percent.

“This signifies an improvement from the subdued growth in 2015 and reflects the sector’s strong production growth since the beginning of the year. The upswing in net sales performance was also a result of sustained domestic demand in the country,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

The volume of production for the first semester of 2016 grew by 13.9 percent from the 2.4-percent growth in the same semester last year.

For June, the manufacturing sector’s growth was supported by higher production of construction-related capital goods, particularly basic metals, transport equipment and machinery, as several infrastructure projects of both the private and public sectors continue to be implemented.

Manufacture of transport equipment posted double-digit growth as domestic demand for vehicles, particularly heavy-duty vehicles used in infrastructure development has been strong.

“The strong growth of manufacturing indicates a resilient domestic economy that is supported by stable macroeconomic policies.” said the Cabinet official said.

However, while the manufacturing sector is anticipated to sustain its positive performance, Pernia cautioned that industrial output is expected to weaken towards the third quarter. This is due to the seasonal slack in demand caused by interruption of business activities during the rainy season, lower consumer demand, and expectations of higher oil prices.

“The government aims to accelerate regional and rural development, which will further boost domestic demand and investments, and provide additional employment in the near term. It is important for complementary initiatives to enhance agricultural productivity and to strengthen linkages across all production sectors to fast-track rural development necessary in achieving genuinely inclusive growth,” he said.

Pernia added that provision of adequate and reliable infrastructure must be accelerated, as well as the review of bureaucratic and regulatory procedures to ensure that business-related operations, processes and laws are appropriate for the current market conditions and societal needs.