BETTER GDP STATS SEEN
Latest economic figures point to better economic performance for the second quarter of the year despite stricter community quarantine status, the Department of Trade and Industry - Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) said in a statement.
Trade Secretary and BOI Chairman Ramon Lopez has welcomed the IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report that the Philippine manufacturing sector rebounded in June with a score of 50.8 from 49.9 in May.
A PMI above the neutral score of 50 reflects improving manufacturing conditions while less than 50 means deterioration.
“This is a welcome development for our recovering manufacturing sector, which we expect to further improve in the second half of the year, given the accelerated COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccine rollout and the safe and calibrated easing of quarantine restrictions across all sectors,” Lopez said in a statement late last week.
He noted that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ (MECQ) imposed during the second quarter of the year relatively allowed more economic activities, permitting manufacturing and essential sectors to operate.
The government also allowed 100-percent capacity for exporters and business process outsourcing firms, with mobility restrictions focused on non-essential and high-risk social activities.
Aside from the recovery of the manufacturing sector towards the end of the second quarter, employment data also improved in May 2021.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the unemployment rate slowed down to 7.7 percent in May from 8.7 percent in April. Economic managers said about 1.5 million jobs were added between April and May this year. Underemployment recorded its lowest rate since 1987 at 12.3 percent, signaling quality jobs were made available in the domestic labor market.
“We are looking on the upside, on the back of the latest figures released by the Philippine Statistics Authority,” DTI Undersecretary and BOI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said. The PSA data on exports also showed that exports growth in April 2021 rose 72 percent to USD5.71 billion compared to USD3.32 billion in April 2020.