PH manufacturing growth, external trade slowed in April | Inquirer Business

PH manufacturing growth, external trade slowed in April

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:14 AM June 10, 2022

Domestic manufacturing growth slowed, while the value of two-way foreign trade declined month-on-month in April amid external uncertainties wrought by the prolonged Ukraine-Russia conflict and a slowing Chinese economy.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) monthly integrated survey of selected industries (Missi) report for April released on Thursday showed the increase in the volume of production index (VoPI) fell to 3.4 percent from 352.3 percent a month ago and 157.8 percent a year ago.

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A proxy for factory output, the soaring VoPI growth in April of last year benefited from low-base effects when 75 percent of the economy was stopped by the most stringent lockdowns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Meanwhile, VoPI in March of this year also jumped because of prolonged pandemic restrictions that spilled over to early 2021.

The Philippines’ worst postwar annual recession in 2020 spilled over to the first quarter of last year due to the protracted fight against COVID-19 that shuttered thousands of businesses and shed millions of jobs amid slow reopening of the economy.

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While April posted slower factory output growth, the PSA said 14 of the 22 industries being monitored by Missi posted expansion, led by textile manufacturing which registered 45.6-percent growth. On the flipside, electrical equipment production volume fell 28.1 percent in April.

The growth in value of production index last April also eased to 9.7 percent from a month ago’s 375.1 percent as well as a year ago’s 150.1 percent.

Separately, the PSA reported on Thursday that the value of merchandise exports and imports in April grew 16.2 percent year-on-year to over $17 billion, but lower than the $19.4 billion worth of shipments last March.

April exports increased 6 percent to $6.1 billion, but lower than March’s export sales amounting to $7.2 billion. Similarly, imports which entered the country last April rose 22.8 percent to $10.9 billion, but below the $12.2 billion in March, the latest preliminary PSA data showed.

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