Dr. Victor Abola on decline in factory output

The country’s manufacturing product contracted for the eighth straight month in October, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday. Preliminary results of the PSA’s Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) showed factory output, as measured by the Volume of Production Index (VoPI), declined by 11.3% year on year in October.

The latest result is faster than the revised 8.6% drop in September and the 5% contraction recorded in October last year. It also marked the steepest decline since the 13.4% drop in July.

Factory output has been falling since March, when parts of the country were placed under a strict lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UA&P economist Dr. Victor A. Abola said the continued decline could still be attributed to the extended lockdowns imposed by the government to contain the pandemic.

“[T]he weakness of the economy may be seen in the slower print (2.9%) for heavy-weighted food manufacturing compared to September (4.7%). The larger drop in printing at -53.4% in October from -34.1% a month earlier reflects the ‘austerity measures’ of firms and consumers for the Christmas season,” Mr. Abola said.

The economist also saw that the closure of refineries had a “big negative impact” on industrial output.

Read the full story at BusinessWorld.

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