MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority said that manufacturing output forecasts remain positive despite slower growth in April 2017.

The three-month moving average growth rate in the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) at 9.7 percent and Value of Production Index (VaPI) at 8.2 percent reflected the robust performance of the sector.

In the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a NEDA-attached agency, VoPI for manufacturing grew by 5.9 percent in April 2017, lower than the 12.8 percent in the previous month and the 10.1 percent in April 2016.

Similarly, VaPI grew by 3.7 percent, lower than the 12.1 percent in the previous month and the 6.1 percent in April 2016.

“Despite the slowdown at the onset of the second quarter, manufacturing output is expected to sustain its growth following anticipated increases in demand during the harvest season and the enrolment period in schools,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

The growth in manufacturing output in the first month of Q2 2017 is attributed to the sustained production of petroleum products, transport equipment, and basic metals posting double-digit increases.

In particular, petroleum products posted a 51.7 percent increase in production due to higher demand for gasoline from Vietnam, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

“The demand for diesel is expected to increase as governments in the Middle East stock up for the Ramadan season,” the Cabinet official said.

Also, the double-digit growth in the production of basic metals at 28.5 percent drove the sustained growth in construction-related manufactures.

“The government’s ‘Build Build Build’ infrastructure program is anticipated to further increase construction activities in the country which will provide additional boost to the manufacturing sector,” Pernia added.

To sustain the growth of the manufacturing sector, he advised that research and policies must be pursued to increase product innovation, enhance investor confidence, and strengthen linkages across production sectors.

MISSI is a 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.