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Manufacturing expected to grow by 10% in 2018

The manufacturing industry is expected to grow by more than 10 percent next year after hitting recently the highest quarterly growth in nearly a decade, said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez.

During the recent Manufacturing Summit, Lopez said the country was on the “verge of economic transformation” as manufacturing had been contributing more substantially to the country’s growth for some years now.

He earlier said that industry was expected to grow by 8 to 10 percent every year until the end of the Duterte administration. On the sidelines of the summit, he said the industry could even exceed 10 percent in 2018.

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“Hopefully, it would be over 10 percent because we already reached 9.4 percent [in the third quarter this year],” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“It’s not unlikely that we sustain 10 or 11 percent,” he later added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the manufacturing sector contributed the most to the third quarter gross domestic product. The sector hit 9.4 percent, which Lopez said might be the highest quarterly growth since the past seven years.

PSA said that radio, television, communication equipment and apparatus led the growth. Other contributors to the growth were the manufacturing of chemical products, furniture and fixtures and basic metal industries.

There were subsectors, however, that registered decline in the third quarter. The largest decline was textile manufacturing, which dropped by 8.1 percent. This was followed by tobacco manufacturing, which fell by 7.9 percent.

Because of the decline in other subsectors, Lopez stressed on the need to “innovate” on existing products, adding that these subsectors should “not lose their relevance.”

“Clearly, our recent performance demonstrates remarkable economic resilience, thanks to a resurging Philippine manufacturing industry . This year, manufacturing has been the country’s main economic driver, exhibiting a Q1 to Q3 growth of 8.3 percent—the highest among the main economic sectors,” he said in his speech during the summit.

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