January 8, 2022 | 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s manufacturing output continued to improve, but only marginally in November, as the base effects started to wear off, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
Factory output, as measured by the Production Volume Index (VoPI), rose 25.3% in November last year, slightly above 25.2% a month earlier, but still better than the 21.8% contraction in November 2020.
The PSA attributed the VoPI takeover to the growth of 12 industrial divisions led by the manufacturing of coke and refined petroleum products, which grew 84.8% in November 2021. However, this was slower than the 125% increase from the previous month.
Manufacturing has grown in recent months, but huge gains have waned since October as weak base effects wear off.
The economy opened during the same period in 2020 following the drop in COVID cases.
In November 2021, the pandemic alert level was lowered, allowing more businesses to resume operations.
Twelve of the 22 industry groups covered by the index saw growth in the month, led by the manufacturing of coke and refined petroleum products, which rose 84.8%.
Manufacturing of wood, bamboo, cane, rattan articles and related products also increased significantly to 83.9 percent.
Most industry groups posted double-digit increases, notably computer, electronic and optical products (43%), electrical equipment (45%), non-metallic mineral products (50%), food products (20% ), furniture (18%), machinery and equipment (41 percent) and metal products (38 percent).
Other gains also include base metals, printing and reproduction of recorded media, and leather products.
Contractions, meanwhile, were also recorded, led by tobacco products at 20.4%.
Declines were recorded in basic pharmaceuticals and preparations, transport equipment, rubber and plastic products, chemicals, beverages, clothing, paper and paper products, and textiles.
Growth in the production value index (VaPI) also rose to 26.5% in November from 25.9% in October. But it contracted to 25.4% from the same period last year.
Average capacity utilization edged up to 67.4% from 67.2% as restrictions were relaxed during the month.
Twenty of the 22 industry groups had an average capacity utilization rate of at least 50 percent, led by furniture, other non-metallic mineral products and tobacco products.
Just over a quarter or 26 percent of responding establishments were operating at full capacity during the survey period.