The country’s factory output expanded for the fourth straight month in July, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported this morning.

Preliminary results of the PSA’s latest Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) showed the volume of production index growing by 537.9% year on year in July, faster than the revised 459% growth in June and a reversal of the 72.8% contraction a year earlier.

July marked manufacturing’s fourth consecutive month of growth following 13 straight months of decline.

Year to date, expansion in factory output averaged 43.6%.

The PSA noted expansion in 14 out of 22 industry divisions in July led by coke and refined petroleum products (3,525.6%); fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment (119.8%); and wood, bamboo, cane, rattan articles and related products (57.4%),

The capacity utilization — the extent to which industry resources are used in producing goods — averaged 66.7% in July, down from the 67.7% the previous month. Of the 22 sectors, 19 averaged a capacity utilization rate of at least 50%.

Among these groups with the highest utilization rates were manufacturers of other non-metallic mineral products (81.1%), tobacco products (78.3%), and furniture (74.1%). – Ana Olivia A. Tirona