MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY in the Philippines expanded at its slowest pace in seven months in March despite strong demand, S&P Global said.
The S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reading slipped to 52.5 in March from 52.7 in February. This was the lowest PMI reading since the 51.2 posted in August last year.
In its report, S&P Global said despite the softer pace of expansion, the headline figure still showed a “historically strong improvement in operating conditions.”
March also marked the 14th straight month that the PMI reading was above the 50 mark, which indicates an improvement in conditions for the manufacturing sector. A reading below 50 means a deterioration.
“The first quarter of 2023 concluded on a solid note, with a further expansion reported across the Filipino manufacturing sector, according to the latest PMI data. Both output and new orders rose at historically strong rates,” Maryam Baluch, economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in a statement.
However, the slower expansion in March was partly due to the weaker rise in production and purchasing.
3RD IN ASEAN
The Philippines’ PMI reading was the third fastest among six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries, behind Myanmar (55.5) and Thailand (53.1). The Philippines was ahead of Indonesia (51.9) and also above the ASEAN average of 51.
Malaysia (48.8) and Vietnam (47.7) saw a contraction in manufacturing activity.
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%).
For the Philippines, S&P Global said production rose for the seventh month in a row in March, largely due to the “strong upturn” in new orders.
“Firms noted that a stronger demand environment, new projects and a broader clientele helped boost sales. That said, foreign demand increased at a slower…
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