Philippine factories extended growth streak in Sept
MANILA -Local factories sustained their output growth in September, posting their best performance so far this year even in the face of high inflation.
A monthly survey of selected industries showed the Volume of Production Index (VoPI), a measure of manufacturing performance, expanded 9.1 percent year-on-year in September, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Thursday.
This was a healthier expansion compared to the 6.8 percent growth in August. At this rate, factory output is now on a 15-month growth streak.
Local manufacturers continued to show their resilience despite a resurgent inflation that soared to a four-month high of 6.1 percent in September.
Data showed much of the output growth in September was due to the 78.6-percent year-on-year growth in the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products.
But despite the sustained growth, factories were still running below capacity. In September, the average capacity utilization rate was 74.3 percent, albeit slightly higher than 74 percent in the previous month.
Notably, the latest VoPI reading was consistent with the results of a separate survey by S&P Global, which showed that the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—another gauge of factory output—returning to expansion mode at 50.6 in September as inflationary pressures remained “historically subdued” despite selling prices increasing at a faster pace.
Moving forward, advance estimates paint a good picture for the sector. In October, the country’s PMI rose to 52.4, staying above the 50-mark separating growth from decline as easing inflationary pressures boosted demand.