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PH factory output up 3.4% in August

Factory output rebounded 3.4 percent in August this year on increased domestic demand, especially for automotive products, the National Economic and Development Authority said Friday.

Data from the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries of the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the volume of production increased 3.7 percent, a big improvement from the performance in the past three months.

The August figure, however, was slower than the 5.7-percent growth posted in the same month last year.

“We must continuously drive domestic demand to offset the low global demand and strengthen the link between the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to reduce the economy’s vulnerability to external supply shocks,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

The Value of Production Index slowed 4.6 percent, a reversal of the 4.5-percent growth in the same month last year.

The manufacture of beverages led the growth in value of net sales, with a 19.1-percent expansion in August.

Tobacco registered a double-digit growth of 14.7 percent and 13.6 percent in both value and volume of net sales, respectively.

Food manufacturing, the biggest contributor to the index, dropped 13.9 percent year-on-year following a decline in the production values of vegetable/animal oils and fats, grain mill products, processed meat and fish, milk and dairy products.

Wood posted a double-digit growth of 37.9 percent and 11.8 percent in volume and value of net sales.

Meanwhile, non-metallic mineral products sustained their double-digit growth at 28.6 percent and 21.1 percent in volume and value of net sales due to the sustained demand for construction-related materials from both the private and public sector.

Petroleum products, meanwhile, declined 25 percent in value of net sales due to an oversupply in the global market. On a positive note, production is seen to increase by next year with the completion of a refinery master plan of a major company.

On capital goods, production of fabricated metal products increased 22.3 percent and 24.2 percent in volume and value of net sales, respectively. However, net sales of basic metals contracted 28.1 percent in volume and 37.9 percent in value due to the decrease in production of non-ferrous metals and an oversupply of basic metals globally.

“We remain optimistic for the fourth quarter due to the expected boost in both production and sales of manufactured goods with the coming holiday season, campaign season for the 2016 elections, and the expansion of the BPO industry,” Balisacan said.

“This, together with the improved employment situation, low inflation rate, declining oil prices and the sustained remittances from overseas Filipino workers, will support the business confidence in the coming months,” he added.

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