Growth of Philippines manufacturing slows again
Nonetheless, expansions in both output and total new orders remained marked and key factors driving the upturn. Greater client demand led firms to increase their input buying and staff numbers.
However, backlogged work depletion fell at the fastest rate on record despite increasing orders. Meanwhile, charge inflation remained at a broadly similar pace even as firms faced the steepest rise in input costs in the survey history.
At 55.7 in December, compared to 56.3 in November, the headline Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) signalled another solid expansion in the Filipino manufacturing industry.
However, the headline index slowed for a third time in a row, where the latest reading was barely above the series average. While the increase in production volumes accelerated in the month, the rate of growth in total new sales decelerated for the third straight month.
December data survey indicated that output in the Filipino manufacturing sector rose at a quicker pace. A combination of improved production efficiency and promotional activity contributed partially to the latest increase.
Higher output was led by greater new orders placed at Philippines manufacturing firms, which reflected strong client appetite. However, the rate of expansion in new work was the slowest since March.
Client demand from foreign markets continued to strengthen at the end of the year but at a slower pace after expanding at a record high rate in November. ■