The London-based information and analytics firm IHS Markit reported Friday that Philippine manufacturers were able to rebound in September as the government eased community quarantine restrictions.
The country’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in September reached 50.9, above the neutral score of 50.
IHS Markit noted that the factory activities’ score in September was the highest in six months.
The manufacturing index was at 46.4 in August when Metro Manila was reverted to the most stringent community quarantine measure while nearby provinces were placed under stricter quarantine protocols.
“A number of factories and businesses resumed their operations. However, the domestic and international demand environment remained challenging,” IHS Markit economist Shreeya Patel said.
IHS Markit said supply chains were also affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) restrictions abroad.
Aside from the pandemic, there were also reports of port congestion, freight delays, and container shortages.
“Global shortages have also weighed on the sector with prices increasing sharply. Unfortunately, firms will have to endure the disruption as supply pressures show no signs of slowing,” Patel added.
Despite rebounding last month, Philippine factories noted that virus-related restrictions continue to hamper production.
New orders continued to decline last month, however, at a slower pace, IHS Markit added.
Among the countries in Southeast Asia that were surveyed, only Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines recorded an improvement in manufacturing activities.
“On a positive note, the vaccination effort supported optimism, and with the government securing more doses, the Philippines looks committed to inoculating population,” Patel said.
Vaccination efforts keep business sentiments optimistic for the next 12 months.