Manufacturing grows 10.6% in January


THE country’s manufacturing output posted growth of 10.6 percent in January 2023, the highest in 10 months, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

On Thursday, PSA said data from the Production Index and Net Sales Index showed the growth of Volume of Production Index (VoPI) in January was the highest since March 2022 when it grew 326.1 percent.

Based on the data, the January 2023 VoPI slowed compared to the 10.9 percent posted in January last year, but was faster than the 4.2 percent posted in December 2022.

“[The VoPI is] back to double-digit growth in the manufacturing volume production largely brought about by the fact that the economy further reopened towards greater normalcy, with no large lockdowns so far in 2022 and no lockdowns going forward as a priority of the administration,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort.

The data showed three industry divisions that contributed to the growth of VoPI in January 2023, led by food manufacturing which grew 17.3 percent.

The two other sectors were the manufacture of transportation equipment grew 24.3 percent and electrical equipment, 53.6 percent.

Based on responding establishments, the PSA said the average capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector in January 2023 was reported at 72.6 percent from 71.5 percent in the previous month.

“One bright spot for manufacturing would be the continued recovery in Philippine exports to near record highs on a monthly basis in recent months, as this would also help exporters and other export-oriented manufacturing industries,” Ricafort said.

“[This is] in view of the faster economic recovery in the country’s biggest export markets such China, Japan, US, and other Asian and European countries, especially those that have massive vaccination towards herd immunity,” he added.

The PSA said almost all industry divisions reported capacity utilization rates of more than 60 percent, except for manufacture of paper and paper products at 56.1 percent.

The top three industry divisions in terms of reported capacity utilization rate were manufacture of wearing apparel at 78.3 percent; manufacture of machinery and equipment except electrical at 77.8 percent; and manufacture of transport equipment, 77.3 percent.

The proportion of establishments that operated at full capacity (90 to 100 percent) was 21.1 percent of the total number of responding establishments. Meanwhile, 39.6 percent operated at 70 to 89 percent capacity, while 39.3 percent operated below 70 percent capacity.

The Production Index and Net Sales Index was formerly the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries report of the PSA.

The report monitors the production, net sales, inventories, and capacity utilization of selected manufacturing establishments to provide flash indicators on the performance of the manufacturing sector.