• Manufacturing output slows in Jan

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    INDUSTRIAL output grew at a slower pace in January despite higher production of basic metals, transport equipment, petroleum products and food manufactures, government data showed Friday.

    The Volume of Production Index (VoPI) increased by 9.3 percent in January, slower than the 35.8 percent a
    year earlier, the latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said production volume in food manufacturing grew by 28.6 percent, compared with 17.6 percent in the same comparable period.

    “This was driven by increased demand for food, beverages, and processed meat,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

    The Value of Production Index (VaPI) rose by 11.6 percent from 25.9 percent.

    The production and net sales of transport equipment also increased during the period, seeing high domestic demand for motor vehicles, according to the NEDA said.

    The production volume and value of petroleum products increased by 45.3 percent and 87.2 percent, respectively, it added.

    “This is attributed to the temporary decrease in supply resulting from shutdowns of several oil refineries in the Middle East and in Asia,” Pernia noted.

    The NEDA did not explain manufacturing output slowed in January, other than saying that the outlook for industry firms remains optimistic in the first quarter of 2017, as business expansion, higher energy sales and implementation of construction works get underway.

    “Firms remain cautious on some risks to growth such as rising oil prices, increased cost of raw materials due to peso depreciation, and higher interest rates,” the Cabinet official said.

    The first month of the year also saw construction-related manufactures expanded due to higher production volume of basic metals, fabricated metals, and non-metallic mineral products.

    The production volume of export-oriented products like footwear and apparel, and wood products sustained upward trends in January 2017.

    “These signal that the global economy is improving. Increased trade in emerging markets like China and Russia have definitely contributed to production growth of Philippine exports,” Pernia said.

    The implementation of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 will further support the growth of the manufacturing sector, he said.

    “We need to expand 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,” said Pernia.

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