• Mfg recovery continues

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    PHILIPPINE manufacturing output continued to recover in November amid robust export demand and an improving flow of goods.

    The Philippine Statistics Authority on Friday said that the Volume of Production index (VoPI) in November advanced by 8.1 percent from the revised growth rate of 7.7 percent in October, based on the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) report.

    The PSA said 13 major sectors reported higher production, with printing more than tripling production.

    Other sectors with positive growth rates were beverages, fabricated metal products, food manufacturing, basic metals, non-metallic mineral products, petroleum products, paper and paper products, chemical products, textiles, transport equipment, leather products, and wood and wood products.

    Based on Value of Production Index (VaPI), manufacturing output slightly accelerated by 7.5 percent from the revised 7.4 percent expansion in October.

    The PSA said that 12 of the 20 major sectors recorded significant increases in printing, fabricated metal products, beverages, paper and paper products, non-metallic mineral products, and leather products.

    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that aside from robust export demand, the manufacturing sector’s month-on-month growth can be attributed to increased domestic demand as well as an improvement in the delivery of goods.

    “With strong local consumption bolstered by the inflow of overseas Filipino remittances, as well as higher income resulting from the holiday season, the sector is expected to show higher growth in the fourth quarter of 2014,” said Emmanuel Esguerra, deputy director-general and currently NEDA officer in charge.

    Production capacity utilization in November for all forms of manufacturing stood at an average 83.6 percent, with more than half of the 20 major industries registering capacity utilization rates of 80 percent or more.

    Net sales expansion slows

    Meanwhile, contractions were recorded on a monthly basis in the Volume of Net Sales Index and Value of Net Sales Index in November, two additional indicators compiled by the MISSI.

    Net sales volume in November grew by 0.3 percent, much slower than the 4 percent growth pace recorded in the previous month, while net sales value posted a 0.3 percent decline against the 3.7 percent growth recorded in October.

    Esguerra said adequate and appropriate infrastructure is vital to sustain the expansion of the manufacturing sector.

    He pointed out that the effective implementation of the Manufacturing Resurgence Program and faster implementation of infrastructure projects, including those under the public-private partnership program, are essential.

    “Upgrading our national quality infrastructure to be at par with international standards will not only improve the quality of our products but also open up more markets for our country’s exports,” the NEDA official added.

    Analysts have said that in 2015, the manufacturing sector will be one of the major drivers of the Philippine economy, which grew by just 5.8 percent in the first three quarters of 2014.

    Recently, First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, forecast Philippine economic growth this year at around 7.0 percent to 7.5 percent, well within the government’s 7.0 percent to 8.0 percent target range.

    FMIC said growth this year will be supported by a resurgence of the manufacturing sector, while the recovery in the United States should also bolster export growth, which is projected to advance by 9 percent to 13 percent.

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