Factory output slows as base effects soften

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s manufacturing output slowed in April as base effects faded, but remained in expansion mode as the economy continued to reopen and restrictions eased.

Factory output, as measured by the Production Volume Index (VoPI), rose 3.4% in April, significantly slower than March’s 352% expansion and 158% growth. % in April 2021.

It was the first time in 12 months that the index rose in single digits.

This is due to high base effects, especially as factory output has grown steadily since April last year, with triple-digit gains recorded for six straight months through September 2021.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) attributed VoPI’s recovery in April to growth in 14 industrial divisions led by textile manufacturing, which rose 45.6%.

This is an improvement from the 24% growth of the previous month.

Although slow, the expansion of manufacturing output in April remains a sign of the continued reopening of the economy. During the month, Metro Manila and the majority of other provinces were held under the most lenient quarantine classification.

Fourteen of the 22 industry groups covered by the index recorded growth during the month.

Most industry groups posted double-digit increases, including machinery and equipment (39.2%), chemicals (33.7%), beverages (29.2%), metal products (22. 9%), leather products (17%), tobacco products (14.7%). ), articles of wood, bamboo, rattan, rattan and related products (13.3%) and computer, electronic and optical products (12.6%).

Other winners also include food products, rubber and plastic products, clothing, paper and paper products.

Contractions, meanwhile, were also recorded, led by electrical equipment at 28.1%.

The other declines concern transport equipment, coke and refined petroleum products, basic metals, non-metallic mineral products, printing and reproduction of recorded media, furniture and basic pharmaceutical products and preparations.

Growth in the value of production index (VaPI) also increased, but at a much slower pace of 9.7% in April compared to 375% in March. It had just experienced a strong expansion of 150% during the same period in 2021.

In addition, capacity utilization decreased slightly on average, from 70.9% to 69.2%.

Eighteen of the 22 industry groups had an average capacity utilization rate of at least 50%, led by the manufacture of furniture, other non-metallic mineral products and clothing.

Only 22% of responding establishments operated at full capacity during the month.

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