Factory output rises on pre-holiday preparations

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ANNUAL preparations for the holidays allowed the country’s manufacturing output to increase in July 2023, according to the latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (Missi) results released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the PSA, the Volume of Production (VoPI) for manufacturing registered a year-on-year growth of 5.7 percent in July 2023.

This was faster than the year-on-year growth rate of 3.4 percent in the previous month. In July 2022, VoPI recorded an annual increase of 3.6 percent.

“The month-on-month and year-on-year improvement in manufacturing production volume in July 2023 may be attributed to the seasonal increase in manufacturing/production, and other economic activities in the third quarter 2023 in preparation for the seasonal increase or even peak in demand/sales for many businesses and industries during the fourth quarter or the Christmas holidays season,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a note.

Based on the PSA, the industry divisions that posted the fastest VoPI growth in July was the manufacture of beverages, which grew 12.6 percent in July 2023 from a contraction of 11.4 percent annual decrease in the past month.

Other industry divisions that contributed to the growth in July were the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products, 36.2 percent from 15.9 percent in the previous month; and the manufacture of food products, 1.2 percent from a contraction of 3.1 percent annual decrement in June 2023.

PSA data also showed that of the remaining 19 industry divisions, six registered year-on-year increases in July 2023. The top industries were the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products; manufacture of transport equipment; and manufacture of beverages.

In contrast, 13 industry divisions posted annual declines during the period. The highest annual drop was observed in manufacture of furniture, at a contraction of 27.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the VoPI for the manufacture of food products recorded an annual increase of 1.2 percent in July 2023 from its previous month’s annual decline of 3.1 percent. In July 2022, VoPI posted an annual increase of 7.8 percent.

The annual rate of VoPI for manufacture of food products in July 2023 was mainly caused by the decline in the manufacture of other food products industry group.

This group contracted 4.5 percent during the month from a double-digit annual decline of 11 percent in the previous month. The manufacture of other food products industry group includes bakery products, sugar, and condiments, among others.

Meanwhile, in terms of the average capacity utilization rate, PSA data showed this was at 73.5 percent. This was higher than the 73.3 percent in June 2023 and 71.4 percent in July 2022.

All industry divisions reported capacity utilization rates of more than 50 percent during the month.

The top three industry divisions in terms of reported capacity utilization rate were led by the manufacture of computer, electronic, and optical products at 81 percent.

This was followed by the manufacture of rubber and plastic products at 80.7 percent and products manufacture of machinery and equipment except electrical at 80.4 percent.

The proportion of establishments that operated at full capacity (90 percent to 100 percent) was 27.8 percent of the total number of responding establishments.

Meanwhile, 37.3 percent operated at 70 to 89 percent capacity, and 34.9 percent operated below 70 percent capacity.

Image credits: In Photo: A stall keeper of an electronics gadget store in Raon, Manila, presents her wide-ranging inventory of imported gadgets just in time for the expected surge of customers with the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene that drew a crowd of devotees of more than a million at the nearby Quiapo Church on Tuesday. Nonie Reyes