Signs of life in pandemic: PH factory output grows 162.1 percent

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MANILA, Philippines—Factory output has reverted to a 162.1 percent growth year-on-year in April due to low-base effects even as the closure of oil refineries remained a drag to domestic manufacturers’ total production volume.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) monthly integrated survey of selected industries (Missi) report for April released on Tuesday (June 8) showed the jump in the volume of production index (VoPI)—a proxy for factory output—reversed the 73.3-percent drop last March as well as the 64.8-percent decline in April 2020.

The PSA said 20 of the 22 manufacturing sectors posted year-on-year increases in production volume, including the fastest growth of 687.5 percent recorded in the manufacture of basic metals. Many manufacturing activities stopped in mid-March to May 2020 at the height of the most stringent COVID-19 lockdown in the region.

Only two industries had year-on-year declines in production volumes: manufacture refined petroleum products fell 32.3 percent year-on-year, while the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations declined by 18.9 percent.

Since February, Petron Corp.’s crude oil refinery in Bataan temporarily stopped operations due to low margins.

The value of production index (VaPI) also returned to year-on-year growth of a record 154.3 percent last April.

“The year-on-year [VaPI] growth rate in April 2021 was the first positive growth since April 2019 and the highest annual increase in the 2018-based data series,” the PSA said.

Prior to April’s recovery, VaPI shrank 74.2 percent year-on-year in March and contracted by 66.6 percent in April last year.

The PSA said 20 industries also registered growth in their VaPI last April, including basic metals which jumped 729.1 percent.

Refined petroleum and pharmaceutical products remained the worst performers with negative VaPI of 24.5 percent and 19.4 percent.

TSB


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