MANILA: The Philippine manufacturing industry closed 2017 on a “strong” note as a result of higher demand in December, data released by Nikkei Philippines on Tuesday showed.
The Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Index (PMI)a broad indication of the health of the country’s manufacturing sector on a monthly basissettled at 54.2 last December, compared with 54.8 in November and 55.7 in December 2016. The headline PMI is based on key indicators that include new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times, and inventories of inputs. Despite a lower PMI in December 2017, the Philippines ended 2017 on a “strong note” as “the latest reading took the average for the fourth quarter to the strongest in 2017,” Nikkei said.
“The Philippines manufacturing economy finished the year with its best quarter for 2017, setting the scene for stronger growth as the country moves into next year,” Bernard Aw, Principal Economist at IHS Markit which compiles the PMI data, said in an emailed statement.
On average, the fourth-quarter PMI registered at 53.13 compared with 50.40 in the first quarter, 50.53 in the second quarter, and 50.00 in the third quarter. “Output and new orders maintained market growth rates in December. Domestic demand stood out as a key driver for manufacturing activity as export growth remained subdued,” Aw said.
The December PMI helped buoy the fourth-quarter average above the yearly average of 51.01. “While output and new orders both grew at slower rates in December compared with November, growth remained marked and above 2017 averages,” Nikkei noted.
“Greater client demand was often cited for solid new order book growth, though there were some mentions of preemptive purchases in anticipation of further price hikes,” it added.
Nikkei also cited additional workers during the holiday season as one of the reasons that helped the sector growth.