We could probably expect a better figure from the manufacturing sector come January 30 when the National Statistical Coordination Board releases the 2005 Gross Domestic Product report. In November, industrial output rose 4 percent owing to rapid expansion in the output of at least eight manufacturing sub-sectors namely furniture and fixtures, petroleum, fabricated metals, chemicals, rubber, non-metallic minerals, textiles, and tobacco.
In its latest monthly integrated survey of selected industries (Missi), the National Statistics Office likewise reported a 12.9 percent rise in the value of production index indicating a generally favorable business environment for the manufacturing sector. Factories also have betters sales figures (i.e. 8.2 percent rise in value).
Despite gains in industrial output, however, the average capacity utilization remained practically the same—80.3 percent from 80.4 percent in October. To some extent, this is good news because it means there would be less inflationary pressures on the supply side as factories still have elbow room to raise production in response to a potential rise in demand without resorting to expansion in production capacity. On the other hand, it means factories are not likely to hire more workers soon.
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