FACTORY ACTIVITY in the Philippines dipped in May, as the growth in production and new orders slightly eased, S&P Global said on Wednesday.
The S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 54.1 in May, slightly down from 54.3 in April.
“The latest headline index reading signaled a further expansion across the manufacturing sector, and one that was the second-fastest since November 2018,” it said.
May marked the fourth consecutive month that the PMI was above the 50 mark, which separates growth from contraction.
The headline PMI measures manufacturing conditions through the weighted average of five indices: new orders (30%), output (25%), employment (20%), suppliers’ delivery times (15%) and stocks of purchases (10%).
The Philippines’ PMI reading was the second fastest among five Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in May, behind only Vietnam’s reading of 54.7.
S&P Global said that production and new orders grew at “solid” rates in the Philippines last month, although the pace of growth softened from April.
However, foreign demand for Philippine goods contracted for a third straight month, which S&P Global attributed to the strict lockdowns in China that caused shipment delays.
Domestic demand improved amid the further loosening of pandemic restrictions in the country.
Metro Manila and various other parts of the country have been on Alert Level 1 since March, as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases remained low.
“As pandemic restrictions ease, strong demand conditions resulted in firms increasing hiring activity for the first time since (February) 2020,” S&P Global economist Maryam Baluch was quoted as saying.
Manufacturing firms also sharply increased their purchases of pre-production inputs and build up their stocks. Holdings of raw materials and semi-finished items went up for a ninth straight month, while post-production inventories expanded at the fastest rate since December…
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