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Manufacturing sector on the rise latest PMI shows

The country’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), which measures the crucial sector's performance, further rose at the start of the current year's second quarter, IHS Markit reported Wednesday.

IHS Markit data showed that manufacturing PMI in April grew to 52.7 from 51.5 in March, reflecting the “robust improvement in the health of the sector”.

“The Philippines manufacturing sector started the second quarter on a robust note with growth in both output and new orders strengthening,” IHS Markit principal economist Bernard Aw said. April’s figure was also the country’s highest manufacturing score this year, the report noted.

“First-quarter manufacturing expansion was affected by the January rollout of the new excise taxes, but April data suggests that demand has since adjusted to these higher levies,” Aw added.

The IHS Markit survey said the positive developments in output, as well as new orders translated to an increase in hiring in the manufacturing sector last month, after a two-month drop in employment. Moreover, the report read that inflationary pressures remain elevated, but companies were able to pass on certain costs to customers.

Firms’ outlook in the sector remains optimistic for the next 12 months, even as expectations dropped to a historic low in April.

“Overall, it’s clear that underlying demand has improved, partly supported by stronger export sales. With companies’ optimism remaining high, despite the dip in April, it looks likely that growth may well accelerate further in coming months,” Aw said.

The PMI gauges the health of a country’s manufacturing sector based on new orders, inventory, production, suppliers, deliveries, and employment environment. Indices above 50 show improvement in the sector, while readings below 50 reflect deterioration.

Kris Crismundo /PNA