INDUSTRIAL production rose for a fifth straight month in August, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said earlier this morning.

Preliminary results of the PSA’s latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showed the volume of production index jumping 534.6% year on year in August. This was slightly lower than the revised annual rate of 539.7% in July, but still a significant turnaround from the 82.2% contraction in August last year.

The August reading marked the fifth straight month of growth in manufacturing output.

For the year, factory output expansion averaged 61.6%.

The PSA noted growth in 15 out of 22 industry divisions in August led by coke and refined petroleum products (3,800.9%); fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (194.2%); wood, bamboo, cane, rattan articles, and related products (94%).

The capacity utilization of these factories averaged 66.1% in August, slightly down from 66.8% the previous month. Of the 22 sectors, 19 averaged a capacity utilization rate of at least 50%.

Leading the sectors with the highest utilization rates were furniture (83.1%), tobacco products (81.6%), and other non-metallic mineral products (79.3%). – Bernadette Therese M. Gadon