Philippine manufacturing reached a stable condition in September, IHS Makrit said on Thursday.
According the London-based British information provider, the Philippines’ manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for September breached the 50-mark, signaling stability in domestic manufacturing activities.
The country’s PMI last month was at 50.1 after going below the level of 50 since the start of lockdown measures in March to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. August’s PMI reading was 47.3.
A score over 50 means a stable manufacturing sector while 50 reflects contraction. The PMI takes into account new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery time and stocks.
Among countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), only the Philippines and Vietnam registered stable manufacturing conditions while countries like Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore recorded contractions in their PMIs.
“The latest Philippines manufacturing data showed that operating conditions stabilized at the end of the third quarter. New business expanded for the first time since February, albeit tentatively, while production levels dropped only slightly,” IHS Markit economist Shreeya Patel commented.
IHS Markit said new orders increased for the first time since February. Businesses linked the higher sales to the reopening of the economy and firmer client demand.
Export sales likewise improved last month.
IHS Markit added that clients were buying in advance as they prepare for more stable market conditions in the coming months.
The Department of Industry welcomed September’s PMI score for the Philippines.
“Glad to hear that recovery for manufacturing has continued as we reopened more sectors of the economy. PMI is now back to over the benchmark 50. We have to continue to reopen the other sectors that remained partially closed to bring back more jobs and income opportunities that will re-stimulate demand and consumer confidence,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told the Philippine News Agency in a text message.
Lopez added that it is crucial to keep the aggressive programs to enforce health protocols in workplaces so the country can continue reopening of the economy. PNA