ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL factory output down at 9.7% in December 2017
The manufacturing sector contracted in December 2017, a reversal from double-digit growth in 2016, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Friday showed.
In its Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries, the statistics office noted the volume of production index plunged to 9.7 percent in December 2017 from 21.7 percent in December 2016.
The PSA noted the output in chemical products was down 67.3 percent; footwear and wearing apparel declined by 42.9 percent; tobacco products decreased by 31.8 percent; and textiles lost 30.5 percent.
“The recent declines in manufacturing are a cause for concern but we are also fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead: robust domestic consumption demand, increased demand from government, and government’s resolve to improve the ease of doing business,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a separate statement.
“With the higher take home pay of around 99 percent of Filipino income taxpayers because of the TRAIN (Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion) law, household consumption will likely increase,” Pernia noted.
The continuous rollout of infrastructure projects and programmed increase in social spending will also increase domestic demand for manufactured goods, he said.
“To enable the manufacturing sector to take advantage of the increased demand, the government will continue to pursue policy reforms to facilitate business transactions,” Pernia said.
The NEDA chief said the government must stay cautious about the short-term upward inflationary impact of TRAIN as this may largely affect the cost of production, particularly energy-intensive manufacturing firms.
“Inflationary pressures, higher global raw material costs, and peso depreciation will continue to be a challenge to the sector’s growth,” Pernia said.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below