MANILA – The country sustained its 52.5 manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for February 2021, the IHS Markit reported Monday.
IHS Markit said the country’s manufacturing score last month signaled a solid operating condition as growth rate matched January 2021 level.
The solid manufacturing condition last month was supported by increased output volumes due to higher order inflows and demand.
“Output and new order growth persisted, whilst an acceleration in pre-production inventories suggests a commitment towards greater production in the months ahead,” IHS Markit economist Shreeya Patel said.
She said the rate of job shedding in February was the lowest for the past 12 months.
However, Patel said the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continues to pose a large threat of material shortages and transportation delays due to restrictions.
Overseas demand remained “heavily subdued” last month, Patel said.
“For now, controlling the Covid-19 pandemic remains at the heart of the Philippines’ agenda, and whilst vaccines have been secured, delivery delays have severely hindered efforts to vaccinate the nation,” she added.
Moreover, the level of optimism of manufacturers improved in February as they expect better production conditions in the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has the second strongest manufacturing PMI among Asean countries in a February 2021 survey.
Singapore recorded the strongest production score of 55.2.
Behind the Philippines in manufacturing PMI for the previous month’s survey were Vietnam at 51.6, and Indonesia at 50.9.
Asean countries that showed deterioration in the manufacturing sector last month were Malaysia with a PMI of 47.7, Thailand at 47.2, and Myanmar at 27.7 amid protests and political instability.
Overall manufacturing score of Asean in February declined to 49.7 from 51.4 in January. (PNA)