MANILA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine manufacturing posted an average of 10 percent growth in the first six months of 2017 due to sustained domestic and improved external demand, the government said on Thursday.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the growth was fueled by increased production in food manufacturing, basic metals, transport equipment, fabricated metal products, non-metallic mineral products, and export-oriented products.
"This is higher than the 9.0 percent average growth during the same period last year," the NEDA said in a statement.
It said the figures are based in the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI) for June 2017 of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a NEDA-attached agency.
For June 2017, it said the volume of production index (VoPI) and value of production index (VaPI) for manufacturing increased by 8.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively, from their June 2016 levels.
"The said increases were mainly driven by the continuous increase in construction-related and export-oriented products, food manufacturing, transport equipment, and petroleum products," NEDA said.
It said the increase in production of basic metals, fabricated metal products, and non-metallic mineral products boosted the construction sector.
Leather products and footwear led to the increase in production of export-oriented goods, it added.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia expressed optimism that the manufacturing's sector will sustain its growth into the second semester.
"Looking ahead, the outlook for the manufacturing sector remains optimistic on the back of favorable domestic conditions such as stable inflation rate, robust economic demand, increased investments, and business confidence," Pernia said.
However, Pernia cautioned against possible domestic and external risks to growth.
"We need to be ready for possible disturbances in business activities during the rainy season. External risks, on the other hand, include the planned interest rate hikes of the United States and the inward-looking trade policies of major economies," he said.
Pernia stressed the need to expand production capacity and to encourage entry of new manufacturing firms so as to keep prices low and stable.