Manufacturing output once again declined in October, extending its streak to eleven straight months, the government reported this morning.

Factory output, as measured by the volume of production index (VoPI), declined by 3.7% year on year in October, lower than September’s revised 3.6% contraction but a reversal from last year’s 2.9% growth, preliminary results of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showed.

Since the start of the year, factory output declined by an average of 7.6% versus the 9.8% growth recorded in January-October 2018.

Manufacturing production has been in negative territory since December 2018.

“The decline of VoPI in October 2019 can be attributed to the decreases in the indices of nine major industry groups led by furniture and fixtures (-32.0%), miscellaneous manufactures (-23.0%), petroleum products (-17.5%) and electrical machinery (-17.3%),” the PSA said in a statement.

In comparison, the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) improved that month to 52.1 from September’s 51.8 and October 2018’s 54.0, marking the strongest improvement in nine months or the 52.3 logged in January.

A PMI reading above 50 signals improvement in business conditions from the preceding month, while a score below that point indicates deterioration.

Average capacity utilization — the extent by which industry resources are used in the production of goods — was estimated at 84.5%. Twelve of the 20 sectors registered capacity utilization rates of at least 80%. — Mark T. Amoguis