The manufacture of computer, electronic, and optical products continued its downtrend in the third quarter of 2021 with an annual decline of -16.4 percent, the highest drop among the nine industries that recorded declines in annual growth rates.
The slowdown in the manufacturing activities was attributed to the current Covid-19 pandemic which restricted the movement of people, supply issues, and the low volume of imported raw materials.
However, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that a slight improvement in the producer price index (PPI) for the manufacturing sector which inched up 0.1 percent in October 2021 from a negative annual growth rate of -4.6 percent in October 2020.
PSA attributed the improvement of the PPI in October 2021 to the annual increases in the indices of 13 industry divisions led by the manufacture of refined petroleum products which posted a double-digit annual increment of 19.6 percent.
Socio-economic planning secretary Karl Kendrick Chua noted that the share of the manufacturing sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) remained stagnant as he stressed the importance of the manufacturing sector in the Philippine economy.
The overall domestic economy grew by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021 driven by improvements in the manufacturing production, external trade, public infrastructure spending, employment, and mobility.
Chua said he expects better performance in the fourth quarter of 2021. “Our economic growth remains promising, and we need to build on these gains to accelerate recovery, and prevent long-term scarring and productivity losses,” he said.
“The data on our progress is likely to improve further if we focus on the safe reopening of the economy alongside the intensified vaccination drive and reduce the barriers to mobility to allow the free movement of people,” Chua added.