Factory output up 5.5% in April
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Manufacturers’ output in April increased by 5.5 percent, with six sectors driving growth, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said in its Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) report.
The growth rate was more subdued than the 8.2 percent reported in March and 6.5 percent in February, but it was well above the 1.2 percent growth observed in January following contractions in the last quarter of 2011.
However, Benjamin E. Diokno of the UP School of Economics said that, based on the fast growth trend reported in the second and third quarters of last year, factory output in the next six months could slow down because of base effect.
At the same time, Diokno said, a strong rebound would be “unlikely” due to the gloomier global economic outlook.
“A strong government response is desirable to perk up the domestic economy, but the likelihood that a strong stimulus would be put in place is practically nil. In the first place, the economic managers are convinced, falsely I think, that the economy is strong. Second, public policy works with a lag, oftentimes with a long lag,” Diokno explained via email.
Manufacturing growth is seen to bode well for the economy since many of the exports subsectors are tied to manufacturing, according to the National Economic and Development Authority.
The manufacturing sector is also seen as a job generator that can help spread the benefits of economic expansion.
The Philippines is targeting an average annual growth rate of 7 to 8 percent from 2010 to 2016 in order to curb poverty and raise the income of more Filipinos.
According to the NSO report, which was posted on its web site, six major sectors drove up manufacturing output in April: furniture and fixtures (up by 234.6 percent), publishing and printing (131.5 percent), footwear and wearing apparel (88.9 percent), wood and wood products (40.6 percent), leather products (25.7 percent), and chemical products (12.9 percent).
But on a monthly basis, factory output slid by 7.2 percent in April from the month before. Citing the Volume of Production Index, the NSO said eight sectors pulled down production: transport equipment (down by 23.1 percent), basic metals (21.9 percent), electrical machinery (18.5 percent), leather products (17.8 percent), tobacco products (16.2 percent), fabricated metal products (14.2 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (12.3 percent), and footwear and wearing apparel (10.6 percent).
Average capacity utilization in April stood at 83.4 percent.
Twelve of the 20 major sectors registered capacity utilization rates of 80 percent or more: food manufacturing (which utilized 87.2 percent of capacity), petroleum products (87 percent), basic metals (86.6 percent), non-metallic mineral products (84.6 percent), electrical machinery (84.4 percent), rubber and plastic products (83.2 percent), chemical products (83.1 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (82.8 percent), machinery except electrical (82.6 percent), paper and paper products (82.1 percent), publishing and printing (81 percent), and wood and wood products (80 percent).
The proportion of establishments that operated at full capacity (90 to 100 percent) stood at 21 percent in April. About 56.2 percent of the establishments operated at 70 to 89 percent capacity, while 22.8 percent of the establishments operated below 70-percent capacity.
The NSO said that the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries report is one of the designated statistical activities undertaken to provide flash indicators on the performance of industries in the manufacturing sector. The survey gathers monthly data on employment, compensation, production, net sales, inventories and capacity utilization. Riza T. Olchondra
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=65311