By Chino S. Leyco
The country’s manufacturing output sustained its growth and marked its eleventh consecutive month in positive territory in November last year, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported yesterday.
The Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)said that manufacturing’s Volume of Production Index (VoPI) rose by 1.0 percent while its Value of Production Index (VaPI) grew by 2.1 percent.
This is supported by production increases in beverages, tobacco, petroleum, electrical machinery, textile, paper products, and miscellaneous manufactures, the PSA said.
“While the November outturn of sustained positive growth for manufacturing, indices showed a declining trend starting on the second half of 2018,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in a statement.
Pernia also noted that factory output may be dampened by less optimistic business and consumer outlook in the fourth quarter as reported in the latest Business and Consumer Expectations Surveys of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“The upside factors that can help improve consumer outlook and prop up demand are the sustained slowdown of inflation in December on the back of the decline in rice and oil prices, and a rollback in minimum jeepney fare,” the cabinet official added.
NEDA expects that the moderate inflationary pressures in the coming months will result in lower cost of inputs for the manufacturing sector and more opportunities for production expansion.
“We also expect that election-related spending will drive up manufacturing, particularly production of food, beverage, tobacco, printing and paper products,” Pernia said.
NEDA also sees that continued public investment in infrastructure not only bodes well with construction-related production but will also raise employment and disposable incomes.
“Within the near to medium term, the manufacturing sector will benefit from the passage of legislative bills – proposed amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, the Retail Trade Act, and the Public Service Act – that will help attract foreign investments in manufacturing,” Pernia said.