MANILA – Green shoots in the Philippine economy, such as improvements in trade and manufacturing activities, are expected to get a further boost from medical and other measures, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In an economic bulletin released Tuesday, the DOF said the increase in merchandise trade and manufacturing activities “signify that the green shoots of economic recovery are growing”
“Managing the spread of the virus and its risks, either through pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions, will be key in restoring and maintaining the growth of economic activities,” it said.
The report said merchandise trade rose by 22.49 percent last March after it reached USD15.8 billion.
It said its growth is higher than the 4.52-percent jump in merchandise trade in the previous month.
Exports expanded by 31.6 percent and imports by 16.6 percent, it added.
“What is noteworthy is that not only did the February and March 2021 total merchandise trade figures surpass their respective 2020 levels but also their respective 2019 pre-pandemic levels,” the DOF said.
The report said the rise in manufacturing indicators from both the Philippine Institute of Supply Management (PISM) and IHS Markit of above 50 index in the first quarter indicates “expansion of manufacturing activities.”
However, the PMI index from IHS Markit fell to 49.0 last April “when stricter community quarantine measures were imposed in the NCR (National Capital Region) and its surrounding regions during the month.”
A PMI index of below 50 indicates contraction but an index of 50 and above suggests expansion. (PNA)