Thanks to pandemic restrictions all over the Philippines being continually eased, the country has recorded its highest manufacturing index in over four years this month of April 2022, the S&P Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) revealed on Monday (May 2).

PH producers’ PMI hit 54.3 this past month, an increase of more than one point from its previous score of 53.2 in March. This is the highest since November 2017 and reflects a solid improvement in overall operating conditions.

This huge performance improvement was due to increased output and new orders, which were up for three straight months, S&P Global said. 

“As client demand strengthened, both output and new orders expanded at rates not seen over three years. Furthermore, upbeat forecasts have resulted in a solid increase in stocks of inputs, with the sector moving towards recovery,” S&P Global economist Maryam Baluch said.

Baluch shared that Philippine-based manufacturers’ 25-month job shedding also came to an end this April, stabilizing the workforce.

Business confidence also remains high this month as manufacturers expect improvement in conditions related to the pandemic, stronger demand conditions, and rising output in the coming months in the next 12 months.

“While strengthening client demand has been able to support the recovery so far, it will be important to see how growth momentum is sustained amid ongoing supply chain disruption and sharply rising costs,” Baluch noted.

Though things are looking up, there are still problems that have yet to be resolved. 

According to Baluch, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is resulting in higher shipping costs and slowing down demand from international markets.

“Although output growth picked up in April, global headwinds, notably from (the) Russia-Ukraine war and lockdowns in China, led to further pressure on supply chains,” Baluch explained. 

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