Manila—The country’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) jumped to 54.3 in April 2022 as compared to the March 2022 data at 53.2, making it the highest reading since November 2017 or posing a 53-month high. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said this significant growth can be attributed to the consistent expansion of the country’s manufacturing sector. Furthermore, the operating capacity of the manufacturing sector reflected a “solid improvement” as outputs and new orders further rose amid the pandemic.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez cited the recent economic reopening as the main driver of growth. “We continue to be optimistic with the country now progressing towards economic recovery as proven by the expansion in our manufacturing sector. The continuous growth of our manufacturing sector was propelled by the more economic sectors reopening, as well as the de-escalation of more areas in the country to Alert Levels 1 and 2 that led to eased mobility, which reached its highest in ASEAN at 96% compared to pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

The country’s employment rate also stabilized after a 25-month period of drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, business confidence outlook was at 4-month high while the country’s transport mobility jumped to 96% of pre-pandemic level in April 2022, the highest in ASEAN region.

Secretary Lopez also expects that the country’s PMI and mobility rate will continue to grow in the coming months.

“We expect both mobility and manufacturing PMI to stay above 90% and 50, respectively, in May as restrictions are lessened and vaccination drive intensified, as well as the ongoing election-related economic activities. We are hopeful that these gains will not be outweighed by the downside from Russia-Ukraine conflict,” he added.

The PMI, published by global provider IHS Markit, considers new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery time, and stocks. Readings above 50 signal growth and below that, a contraction. ♦

Date of Release: 6 May 2022