Manufacturing output posts fastest growth in 3 years
The manufacturing sector sustained its growth momentum in October, registering the fastest rise in production volume in more than three years.
The expansion of the manufacturing sector augured well for the country, economic officials said, given the need to address the country’s poverty problem.
The National Statistics Office on Tuesday reported that manufacturing output grew by 25.3 percent in October from a year ago, the fastest since September 2010.
This brought the average growth in manufacturing output in the first 10 months of the year to 12.39 percent, faster than the 7.13 percent expansion registered in the same period last year.
Chemical products were the top driver of growth, with total production in October rising by 215 percent year-on-year.
This was followed by furniture and fixtures, production of which rose year on year by 208.1 percent. Leather products registered output growth of 190.5 percent.
Other key growth drivers in the manufacturing sectors were tobacco (up 61.5 percent), basic metals (up 49.2 percent), non-electrical machinery (up 35.4 percent), rubber and plastic products (up 32.9 percent) and textiles (up 24.9 percent).
Government economic officials believe the manufacturing sector would play an important role in achieving the country’s poverty reduction goal.
This is because unlike the services sector, which has been a key economic growth driver for more than a decade now, the manufacturing sector is capable of employing more people from the low-income sector.
Arsenio Balisacan, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said pouring more investments in the manufacturing sector was one of the highlights of the updated medium-term Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
The updated PDP, which will outline new strategies to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, is scheduled for release in January.
The Philippines, which has become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia recently, continues to have one of the highest poverty rate in the region at 25.2 percent last year. Michelle V. Remo
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