The country’s factory output contracted for the seventh straight month in September, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.
Preliminary results of the PSA’s latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showed factory output, as measured by the Volume of Production Index (VoPI), contracted by 8.4% year on year in September.
This was slower than the revised nine-percent decline in August, but was faster than the 6.5% contraction in September 2019.
Year to date, the drop in factory output averaged 12.1% compared with the 8.9% slide in 2019’s comparable nine months.
“The major contributory to the slower decline in VoPI for manufacturing sector in September 2020 were the two-digit expansions observed in basic metals and food manufacturing with annual increases of 14.4% and 10.2%, respectively. The slower drop in the indices of 10 industry groups also tapered off the rate of decline in the index for the sector,” the PSA said in the report.
Average capacity utilization — the extent to which industry resources are used in the production of goods — averaged 67.6% in September from 67.2% the previous month.
Only eight of the 20 sectors registered capacity utilization rates of at least 80%. — Lourdes O. Pilar