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The Philippine manufacturing sector’s performance in November was better than its ASEAN neighbors, the S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reported Friday.

The Philippines’ manufacturing PMI in November 2023 stood at 52.7, higher than the 52.4 index in October 2023.

The domestic manufacturing’s health in the previous month was also the strongest since February this year.

The country’s manufacturing PMI in November was higher than the ASEAN average of 50, indicating a neutral score.

“The latest PMI data from S&P Global signalled a further strengthening of the Filipino manufacturing sector in November. Strong demand conditions supported quicker expansions of both new business and output. Moreover, confidence levels strengthened for the first time in three months, amid hopes of a continued improvement in underlying demand trends in the months ahead,” S&P Global Market Intelligence economist Maryam Baluch said.

Compared to other Southeast Asian nations, the Philippines’ manufacturing performance last month was higher than Singapore’s PMI of 51.7, which also showed improvement.

ASEAN countries which signalled deterioration of manufacturing performance in November, or those who recorded a score below 50, are Myanmar, with PMI of 48.1; Malaysia; 47.9; Thailand, 47.6; and Vietnam, 47.3.

The Philippines’ manufacturing PMI was even better than China, where the general manufacturing score stood at 50.7 last month.

S&P Global also observed that input price inflation in Philippine manufacturing in November was the softest in over three years.

There were also fresh drops in employment and purchasing activity in the local sector last month.

“While these fresh contractions were a slight cause for concern, the downturns were shallow overall and may be reversed if growth momentum is sustained, although global headwinds and sluggish demand from overseas markets could act as downside risks in the coming 12 months,” Baluch added.

On the other hand, business outlook of manufacturers for the next 12 months remained subdued, with only 46 percent of surveyed producers expecting expansion. (PNA)