• Moody’s unit: PH April factory output up 12% vs 11% March

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    PHILIPPINE manufacturing output likely grew 12 percent in April, gaining pace from 11 percent in March, Moody’s Analytics said in an estimate ahead of the release of official data next week.

    The economic research unit of Moody’s Investors Service expects the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) in April also accelerated from 10.8 percent in April 2016.

    “The archipelago’s manufacturing sector received a boost in recent months from the uptick in global demand. In particular, this should boost electronics manufacturers,” Moody’s Analytics said.

    Domestic demand remained as the main driver of production growth, though, as rising incomes fueled consumer spending, it said.

    It noted that infrastructure projects, both public and private, were supporting industrial production.
    The government has programmed to spend P847 billion on infrastructure development this year, covering projects in all regions, including small-, medium- and large-scale ventures.

    In the six years to 2022, the budget for infrastructure the government intends to spend P8.4 trillion on infrastructure.

    To recall, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) had said the government must continue to foster a competitive and innovative environment to help the manufacturing sector realize its full potential as a growth driver.

    “The sector is expected to benefit from sustained growth economic momentum and increasing infrastructure and human capital investments. It can also benefit from the country’s ‘BBB-’ or ‘good quality rating’ with a positive outlook for both foreign and local currency denominated obligations,” he added.

    “[W]e must push for the adoption of innovative technological advancements to increase the productivity of local producers and enterprises,” NEDA Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan said.

    The NEDA official also warned of the risks to inflation, as well as possible external risks.

    “We must keep diversifying our market and increase our attractiveness to investors by addressing legal impediments that restrict foreign participation, minimizing regulatory burden, and reducing the cost of doing business in the country,” Tungpalan added.

    The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) is scheduled to release the official manufacturing output figures on Friday, June 9.

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