Manufacturing continued to grow for the 11th consecutive month in February propelled by looser movement restrictions.

Factory output, as measured by volume of production index, rose by 84.3% year on year in February from the revised 17.1% in January, preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showed.

This was a turnaround from the 43.9% decline recorded in February last year.

February marked the 11th straight month that the manufacturing stayed in the positive territory.

In comparison, the Philippines’ manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) picked up to its highest level in over three years to 52.8 in February, from 50 in January. This was the highest PMI reading since the 53.2 posted in December 2018.

The PSA noted an expansion in the VoPI in the 19 out of 22 industry divisions in February, led by manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products which grew by 748.9% from 44.9% in January. This was followed by manufacture of furniture (90.3% from 7.4%) and manufacture of tobacco products (85.5% from 69.9%).

The capacity utilization — the extent to which industry resources are used in producing goods — averaged 69.0% in February, slightly higher than 68.3% in the previous month. Twenty-one out of 22 industry divisions reported capacity utilization rates of more than 50%. — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo