December manufacturing output drops
Factory output dropped in December as demand waned, but state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority expects manufacturing to rebound ahead of the midterm elections in May.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for December 2018 showed that the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) declined 10.1 percent that month.
The drop in the December 2018 VoPI, a proxy for manufacturing output, was steeper than the 6.1-percent decline in December 2017.
“Ten out of the 20 industry groups registered annual declines [in VoPI], with two-digit decreases noted in the following: printing (-79.4 percent), chemical products (-28.9 percent), tobacco products (-22.1 percent), food manufacturing (-17.8 percent), basic metals (-16.7 percent) and machinery except electrical (-12.6 percent),” the PSA said.
In the meantime, the Value of Production Index (VaPI) slid 9.3 percent, also faster than December 2017’s 7.1-percent drop.
The PSA said the following sectors led the decline of the VaPI in December last year: printing (-78.5 percent), chemical products (-28.2 percent), basic metals (-16.5 percent), food manufacturing (-15.8 percent) and tobacco products (-11.1 percent).
“We have expected this decline because the holiday season is over. The figures could also indicate a likely tepid growth consistent with the latest Business and Consumer Expectations Surveys of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said.
“A decline in rice prices and electricity rates, and the slight appreciation of the peso may help improve consumer outlook and prop-up demand.”
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