Philippine manufacturing output posts double-digit growth in 2016

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MANILA, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines saw a double-digit growth in the manufacturing sector buoyed by strong demand in production of petroleum products, food products, and transport equipment, the government said on Friday.

"The manufacturing sector is preforming very well. Increases in the purchases of capital and durable goods contributed to the increase and further indicates that there is business and consumer confidence in the domestic economic," Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.

Data released by the Philippines Statistics Authority's Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries for December 2016, showed the volume of production index for manufacturing increased to 23 percent from five percent in the same period in 2015.

Pernia said the value of production index for manufacturing grew 14.4 percent for the full year of 2016, from 2.5 percent growth recorded in 2015.

Meanwhile, the data also showed that production of construction-related good sustained the upward trend, primarily in response to the increase in demand for both residential which registered 19.2 percent and nonresidential buildings, 27.3 percent, during the third quarter of 2016.

For December 2016, the data showed that production of food product grew 35.1 percent, the highest production volume growth recorded since 2013.

"Value of production of the food sub-sector also increased by 37.7 percent, driven mainly by domestic demand during the holiday season and higher production value of vegetable oil and animal fats," the data showed.

For intermediate goods, the data showed that petroleum sub-sector has been sustaining its growth, posting a production volume growth of 63.2 percent for December 2016, a complete reversal from the 34.2 percent decline in 2015.

Notwithstanding the impressive performance of the manufacturing sector, Perina stressed the need to boost the government's capacity to provide quality and stable jobs to Filipino workers.

"We must further encourage the expansion of the capacity of existing firms, entry of new ones and facilitate linkages across firms and sectors," Pernia said.