By Bernadette Therese M. Gadon

Factory output rose for the fifth straight month in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday morning.

Preliminary results of the PSA’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) showed the volume of production index (VoPI) went up by 5.1% year on year in October from the revised 4.1% in September. However, this was slower compared with the 27% growth posted in October 2021.

It was the sector’s fifth straight month of growth after the 0.5% decline in May. Year to date, factory output rose by 17.4%.

According to the statistics agency, 14 out of 22 industry divisions contributed to the growth led by manufacture of machinery and equipment except electrical with 81.8% in October, slower compared with the 88.9% in September, but faster than the 25.7% recorded in October last year.

This is followed by manufacture of beverages (61.7% in October from -6.4% in September); manufacture of chemical and chemical products (39.5% from 74.6%); and manufacture of fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (35.7% from 23.7%).

Manufacture of electrical equipment continued to decline by 56.9% in October from -55% in September. This was slower than the 42.3% growth recorded in October 2021.

Other industries that posted a decline in October were manufacture of basic metals (-23.4%), manufacture of furniture (-21.6%), and printing and reproduction of recorded media (-17.3%).

In comparison, IHS Markit’s Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) eased to 52.6 in October from 52.9 in September. A reading above 50 marks improvement for the manufacturing sector while anything below indicates deterioration.

The capacity utilization rate averaged 72.4% in October, up from 71.5% in September and 67.4% in the same month a year ago. All 22 sectors had an average capacity utilization rate of at least 50%.