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Philippines PMI February 2021

Philippines: Manufacturing PMI remains unchanged but still in expansionary territory in February

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, came in at 52.5 in February, matching January’s result. The PMI thus landed well above the crucial 50-threshold, and signaled a firm improvement in manufacturing sector conditions.

February’s result largely reflected a rise in new orders and output—albeit softer than last month—as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions domestically boosted demand. Nonetheless, lingering restrictions in key international markets weighed on foreign demand and tumbled new export orders. On a brighter note, although employment dropped for the 12th successive month, firms shed jobs at the softest rate in said sequence, while manufacturers remained optimistic over output in the next year, on hopes of an end to the pandemic. Lastly, on the price front, raw material shortages resulted in a spike in input cost inflation, which rose at the sharpest rate since October 2018, prompting firms to increase their selling prices.

Shreeya Patel, economist at IHS Markit, stressed:

“For now, controlling the COVID-19 pandemic remains at the heart of the Philippines’ agenda, and whilst vaccines have been secured, delivery delays have severely hindered efforts to vaccinate the nation. Policy-makers will however welcome the sustained improvement in manufacturing operating conditions during February.”

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