Manufacturing output down, trade growth slowed in Sept
Manufacturing contracted in September while the growth in both exports and imports slowed even despite recovering global demand and the Christmas holiday season fast approaching.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for September showed that the Volume of Production Index, a proxy of manufacturing output, declined 3.7 percent year-on-year, reversing the 11.2-percent climb in the same month last year.
In a statement, the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority blamed the decline in manufacturing in September to “decreases in the production of petroleum, transport equipment, and export-oriented products.”
“The decrease in the production volume of petroleum products is attributed to the lower production of coke and other fuel products while the contraction in transport equipment follows lower imports of raw materials. For export-oriented products, declines were seen in the production volume of textiles, footwear and wearing apparel, chemicals, rubber and plastic, and wood products,” Neda explained.
Neda nonetheless noted that construction-related manufactures and food manufacturing sustained their expansion that month.
As for trade, the growth in merchandise exports and imports in September slowed compared with a year ago and a month ago.
Shipments of Philippine-made goods to abroad grew 4.3 percent year-on-year to $5.594 billion, a slower increase from last year’s 8.1 percent and the previous month’s 9.6 percent.
The value of imported goods that entered the country, meanwhile, inched up 1.7 percent year-on-year to $7.509 billion, compared with the 18-percent jump during the same month last year as well as the 10.4-percent increase in August.
Since imports continued to outpace exports, the trade balance remained at a deficit of $1.915 billion in September, although narrower than the $2.02-billion trade deficit a year ago.
“The third quarter growth performance of several major economies such as the Eurozone, the US, and China, reflects an upbeat outlook for the global economy. Given this, we are optimistic that Philippine trade will pick up in the last quarter due to higher demand in the holiday season,” Neda Undersecretary and officer-in-charge Rosemarie G. Edillon said.
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