FACTORY ACTIVITY within the Philippines continued to develop in July, in distinction to the broad contraction in Southeast Asia the place many economies are grappling with a recent surge in coronavirus infections, a survey by IHS Markit confirmed on Monday.
The Philippine Manufacturing Buying Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.4 final month, slipping from 50.8 in June however remained above the 50 impartial mark that separates contraction from enlargement.
This marked the second month in a row the index confirmed an enlargement after worsening in April and Could.
“Newest knowledge revealed solely a slight enlargement in working situations throughout the Philippine manufacturing sector, with declines in output and new orders persisting in July,” IHS Markit mentioned.
The Philippine manufacturing sector recorded the very best PMI amongst six Southeast Asian economies surveyed. Manufacturing unit exercise for the remainder of the economies shrank in July — Thailand with 48.7, Vietnam with 45.1, Indonesia and Malaysia each with 40.1 and Myanmar with 33.5.
“Though the Philippine manufacturing sector recorded one other enchancment in working situations throughout July, newest knowledge revealed home demand and manufacturing ranges had been nonetheless impacted by the pandemic,” Shreeya Patel, an economist at IHS Markit, mentioned within the assertion.
Filipino producers continued to report decrease new orders as a consequence of weak demand amid the continued well being disaster and as shoppers remained cautious in spending, in keeping with IHS Markit.
This was offset by the bettering exterior demand for native items which rose for the third month in a row in July amid a greater world financial panorama.
Nonetheless, manufacturing continued to say no for the fourth straight month in July as a consequence of sluggish orders, however confirmed a slight enchancment from June’s output.
Producers laid off workers once more for the 17th month in a row as a consequence of decrease manufacturing and since previous voluntary resignations weren’t changed. IHS Markit famous that the decline in employment was the softest since March.
Longer provider lead instances had been additionally recorded, which was attributed to shortages in uncooked supplies and quarantine restrictions.
IHS Markit mentioned shopping for exercise improved for the second month in a row, with corporations stocking up on their inventories in preparation for a attainable scarcity and in anticipation of higher demand within the close to time period.
On costs, producers anticipated inflation to stay excessive however barely decrease than the earlier months, as a consequence of costlier uncooked supplies and the imposition of the 12% value-added tax (VAT) on domestically obtained inputs by exporters. The Bureau of Inside Income suspended the implementation of the VAT on native inputs final week.
“Equally, factory-gate costs rose throughout the month, with panel members noting a partial pass-through of upper bills and the influence of the introduction of VAT,” IHS Markit mentioned.
An enchancment within the nation’s vaccination rollout boosted general sentiment, IHS Markit mentioned, including that it prompted factories to extend their inventory of uncooked supplies and manufactured items.
The survey confirmed producers anticipate higher output within the subsequent 12 months, with sentiment reaching a four-month excessive on hopes elevated vaccinations will assist the economic system normalize.
Introduction of latest merchandise and a rebound in consumer demand additionally contributed to higher sentiment.
“Nonetheless, home demand should enhance all through the second half of the 12 months to assist underpin development in 2021,” Ms. Patel mentioned.
Nonetheless, manufacturing situations might deteriorate as Metro Manila and 4 different provinces will probably be below an enhanced neighborhood quarantine from Aug. 6-20 amid the Delta variant risk.
“The Philippines’ index was the one one which saved its head above water among the many ASEAN economies we observe carefully. However it’s prone to have entered into the pink this month, in view of the preemptive restrictions the federal government will probably be instituting to mute the potential spike in Delta circumstances,” Miguel Chanco, senior Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics mentioned on Monday.
Rizal Industrial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort mentioned native manufacturing actions might sluggish throughout the lockdown.
“Going ahead, danger of lockdown orders within the Nationwide Capital Area in an effort to assist cut back new COVID-19 native circumstances which have been comparatively larger every day lately… might end in slower restoration in manufacturing, gross sales, internet earnings/livelihood, jobs and different financial actions, particularly for hard-hit sectors,” he mentioned in a observe.
In the meantime, decrease infections and additional reopening of the economic system ought to enhance manufacturing situations within the nation.
The Well being division reported 8,167 COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing the variety of energetic circumstances to 62,615. — Beatrice M. Laforga