PRICES of manufactured products fell 2.6% in March, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), citing preliminary data.

The PSA said in a report that growth in the producer price index for manufacturing slowed from the 3.6% posted in February. The year-earlier growth rate was 5.4% period last year.

The price index for coke and refined petroleum products fell 0.4% from 4.2% posted in February.

“The manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products accounted for 35.1% of the slower annual growth rate in the PPI for manufacturing in March,” the PSA said.

Manufactured food products declined 5.2%, against the 6.1% decline in February.

Basic metal prices fell 3.4%, accelerating the decline from 0.7% in February.

Prices also fell in transport equipment and basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations by 2.5% and 0.8%, respectively.

Of the segments reporting gains, an increase of 5.9% year on year was recorded both in beverages and furniture from their respective growth rates of 5.1% and 4.5% in February.

The price index for computer, electronic and optical products was unchanged at 3.8%. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera