Factory output growth seen easing to 8.7%


But Moody’s research upbeat about infra projects, robust demand
Moody’s Analytics estimated ahead of official data that Philippine manufacturing output in February grew 8.7 percent, indicating a slowdown from a year earlier and the preceding month.

The economic research unit of Moody’s Investors Service regards manufacturing growth at 8.7 percent still strong, and did not give reasons for the easing of the rise in the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) from 9.3 percent in January 2017 and 11.6 in February 2016.

Moody’s Analytics only focused on its view that the domestic economy continues to drive the rapid increases in manufacturing output as infrastructure projects and rising incomes support demand.

It said in its research note released over the weekend that the increase in production in February was driven by robust domestic demand and improving global conditions.

“Philippine industrial production growth is expected to have remained strong in February, at 8.7 percent year-on-year, despite slowing slightly from January’s 9.3 percent increase,” it said.

“Global conditions have also become more supportive of manufacturing, as evidenced by the improvements in merchandise exports from the Philippines that began 2017,” it added.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) had reported that in January, export earnings climbed to $5.1 billion , propelled by growth in most commodities, led by forest products, agro-based products, and manufactures.

The official February manufacturing output data is due for release by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday, April 11.

NEDA’s view
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia had said the industrial outlook for the first quarter of 2017 remained positive given the expected business expansion, higher energy sales and implementation of construction projects.

The execution of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 will further support growth in the manufacturing sector, Pernia, who is also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority, said.

“We need to expand the economic opportunities in the industry and services sectors by increasing local and foreign investments, promoting competitiveness through science, technology and innovation, as well as improving market access,” Pernia added.


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