The country’s total manufacturing output rose year-on-year in June as rising demand in the domestic market more than offset the contraction in global demand.
The National Statistics Office on Tuesday reported that the manufacturing sector posted a 9.9-percent growth in production in June from year-ago level. This was, however, slower than the revised growth of 21.7 percent posted by local manufacturers in May.
According to the NSO, the growth in total manufacturing output was driven largely by the chemicals, basic metals, and furniture and fixtures sectors which posted production increases of 86.3 percent, 71.5 percent and 81 percent, respectively.
Other sectors that registered increases in production were rubber and plastic products, 7.6 percent; non-metallic mineral products, 4.5 percent; leather products, 8.5 percent, and tobacco products, 0.4 percent.
Sectors that suffered the biggest decline in output in June were textile, 35.8 percent; transport equipment, 25.3 percent and fabricated metal products, 21.6 percent.
The NSO said 22.6 percent of the manufacturing firms in the country operated at 90 to 100 percent of their capacities in June, bringing the industry’s average to 83.2 percent.
In a separate report, the NSO said export shipments of manufactured goods in June reached $3.716 billion in June, down by 0.02 percent from $3.717 billion in the same month last year. Total exports for the month, however, grew by 4.1 percent to $4.49 billion from $4.31 billion a year ago.
The favorable performance of the manufacturing sector boosted hopes that manufacturers will contribute more to the growth of the economy.
Economists said the Philippines needed to strengthen its manufacturing sector to support the government’s poverty reduction efforts. They said the manufacturing sector had the capability to employ more people and had a bigger multiplier effect on the economy.
For years, the services sector, which includes business process outsourcing, has driven the country’s economic growth.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, however, said the manufacturing sector was expected to be become one of the key growth drivers of the economy this year given a favorable business sentiment that was seen to boost local investments.