PSA: Lackluster food sector dampens Feb factory output


Factory output growth slowed in February due to the lackluster performance of food manufacturing, according to the latest data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The data from PSA showed that the Volume of Production Index (VoPI) for manufacturing recorded a year-on-year increase of 7.2 percent in February, slower than the annual growth rate of 11.2 percent in the previous month. In February 2022, VoPI recorded a faster annual increment of 69.8 percent.

PSA said the VoPI performance in February was mainly due to the slower annual rate in the index of manufacture of food products, which reached 6.4 percent. It was at 14 percent in January.

“The manufacture of food products contributed 29.7 percent to the downtrend of VoPI of the manufacturing sector in February 2023,” PSA said.

The manufacture of grain mill products, starches, and starch products expanded by 6.8 percent in February, slower than the previous month’s 30.9-percent increase.

Apart from food, the data also showed the slowdown in the VoPI was due to the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products which contracted 14.2 percent and the 2.7-percent decline in the manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products.

Data from the PSA indicated that 5 industry divisions recorded slowdowns in the annual growth rates of their indices.

Four industry divisions also exhibited negative year-on-year annual rates after recording annual upturns in the previous month.

However, 5 industry divisions posted higher annual growth rates in February. The highest annual rate was recorded in other manufacturing and repair and installation of machinery and equipment at 34 percent.

The manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products index registered an annual increase of 2.4 percent during the period from a contraction of 11.7 percent in the previous month.

Meanwhile, based on responding establishments, the average capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector in February was reported at 72.6 percent from 72.8 percent in the previous month.

“Almost all of the industry divisions reported capacity utilization rates of more than 50 percent. The top three industry divisions in terms of reported capacity utilization rate were manufacture of machinery and equipment except electrical [81.6 percent], manufacture of transport equipment [78.9 percent], and manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products [77.8 percent],” PSA said.

It added that the proportion of establishments that operated at full capacity or 90 percent to 100 percent was 22.1 percent of the total number of responding establishments.

Meanwhile, some 35 percent of the companies operated at 70 to 89 percent capacity while 42.9 percent operated below 70 percent capacity.

The data is based on the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries report which monitors the production, net sales, inventories, and capacity utilization of selected manufacturing establishments to provide flash indicators on the performance of the manufacturing sector.