June 05, 2018

Factory output grew in April as higher commodity prices, strong consumer demand, and a weaker exchange rate encouraged manufacturers to produce more, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

The latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed a key barometer in measuring the output of the manufacturing sector, the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) at 31.1 percent in April 2018, significantly higher than the 0.1 percent growth in the previous year.

The Value of Production Index (VaPI) registered a growth of 31.7 percent in April 2018, a turnaround from the 1.6 percent decline in 2017.

This made the three-month moving average growth rate of both indexes at 23.3 and 23.0 percent, respectively.

Growth in production of food and export-oriented products (processed food, chemicals, fabricated metals, leather, petroleum, non-metallic minerals, electrical and non-electrical machinery, among others) contributed to the gains.

Higher government spending on infrastructure in the months leading to April helped sustain growth in construction-related manufactures, which continued its upward trend given higher demand for non-metallic mineral products, particularly cement.

Boosting business sentiment too is a new law – the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Law – that will streamline procedures, shorten processing time for government transactions, and create a central business portal to receive and obtain data involving business-related transactions.

“A bullish business outlook is expected for the entire second quarter on the back of robust economic growth. An expansion of businesses will also be facilitated thanks to the new law on ease of doing business,” NEDA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary Jose Miguel R. de la Rosa said.

“The full implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 and engagement in massive and coordinated capacity-building initiatives will help the manufacturing sector grow further,” he added.

De la Rosa is OIC of NEDA while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia is on official business abroad.