Factory output continues to decline in November

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Factory output declined for the twelfth straight month in November, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported earlier this morning.

Preliminary results from the PSA’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showed that the November factory output – as measured by the volume of production index – contracted by 6.1%. The recent figure was lower than the revised four-percent decline in October and a reversal of the 1.9% growth in November 2018.

The November figure marked the steepest decline since the 10.1% drop in August 2019.

Year to date, the factory output decline averaged 7.6% compared to the 9.1% growth average in 2018’s comparable 11 months.

Factory output has been declining since December 2018. This losing streak also matched the 12-month slump between November 2008 and October 2009.

In comparison, the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index dropped to 51.4 in November from 52.1 in October – its slowest in five months. A reading above 50 indicates an improvement in business conditions from the preceding month.

Average capacity utilization – the extent by which industry resources are used in the production of goods – was estimated at 84.5% with 12 of the 20 sectors registering capacity utilization rates of at least 80%%. — Edwin C. Aruta, Jr.