PH factory output slows to 4.4% in Feb

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PHILIPPINE factory output grew at a slower pace in February from a year earlier in volume terms and saw its steepest decline in 22 months in value terms as half of the 20 major production sectors posted decreases, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

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According to the PSA’s latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI), the volume of production index (VoPI) grew at a slower rate of 4.4 percent in February compared with the 6 percent growth recorded in the same month last year.

The results came in slightly below forecast. Moody’s Analytics earlier said factory output likely grew by 4.5 percent in February, higher than the 3.3 percent increase recorded in January although still behind the 6 percent rise posted in February last year.

Month-on-month, February VoPI was also slower than the revised 6.9 percent overall increase posted in the previous month, the PSA report said.

However, it said that 12 of the 20 major sectors posted improved performance, namely beverages, basic metals, tobacco products, electrical machinery, printing, non-metallic mineral products, textiles, chemical products, paper and paper products, leather products, machinery except electrical, and wood and wood products.

Meanwhile, the same report said the value of production index (VaPI) in February recorded its steepest contraction since April 2013, when the index showed a drop of 1.5 percent.

By value, manufacturing output contracted by 2 percent in February compared to growth of 5.1 percent in the same month last year and the revised 1.8 percent growth recorded in January this year.

The PSA said 10 major sectors posted significant decreases in VaPI led by furnitures and fixtures, which showed a 51.9 percent contraction, followed by petroleum products, footwear and wearing apparel, rubber and plastic products, and chemical products.

The MISSI report showed that production capacity utilization in February for all forms of manufacturing stood at an average 83.3 percent, with 12 of the 20 major industries registering capacity utilization rates of 80 percent or more.

Meantime, net sales by volume and value showed contrasting trends, with net sales by volume growing in February while net sales by value dropped.

The MISSI report showed that volume of net sales index in February grew by a slower 6.1 percent compared to the 10.5 percent growth recorded in the same month last year, while the volume of net sales index shrank by 0.5 percent compared to the 9.6 percent growth registered a year earlier.

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