The manufacturing sector sustained its strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2017 even as its growth slightly weakened in December, the latest Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed.
Last month, the PMI score slightly declined to 54.2 from 54.8 in November, global research firm IHS Markit said in a statement Tuesday.
IHS Markit nonetheless pointed out that the index level in December “still signaled a solid improvement in the health of the sector” as the fourth-quarter average was the strongest last year.
A PMI score of above 50 indicates an overall increase in manufacturing activity.
“The Philippines’ manufacturing economy finished the year with its best quarter for 2017, setting the scene for stronger growth as the country moves into . Output and new orders maintained marked growth rates in December. Domestic demand stood out as a key driver for manufacturing activity as export growth remained subdued,” IHS Markit principal economist Bernard Aw said.
“Other survey indicators point towards a strong start to 2018 for the sector. Business expectations about output in the year ahead strengthened to a four-month high while firms increased labor capacity and purchasing activity further during December,” Aw added.