December factory output decline steepest in 13 months – PSA

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THE country’s industrial production posted a double-digit contraction in December – its biggest in 13 months, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

In its latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries, the PSA said the volume of production index – a measure of factory output – contracted by 10.07% in December, a reversal from the revised 1.63% growth in November. This was also slower than the 6.1% decline posted in December 2017.

This was the sector’s worst performance since the -10.1% decline in November 2017.

This brought factory output volume to average 7.2% in full-year 2018 but was still better than the 0.5% slump recorded in 2017.

Average capacity utilization — the extent by which industry resources are used in the production of goods — was estimated at 84.3% in December. Eleven of the 20 sectors registered capacity utilization rates of at least 80%.

“Ten out of 20 industry group registered annual declines, with two-digit decreases noted in the following major industry group: printing (-79.4%), chemical products (-28.9%), tobacco products (-22.1%), food manufacturing (-17.8%), basic metals (-16.7%) and machinery except electrical (-12.6%),” the PSA said. – Carmina Angelica V. Olano