Tuesday, October 24, 2006

That messy MISSI!

Four months into Christmas, the average capacity utilization of selected manufacturing enterprises remained high at 80.3 percent. That's good news, an indicator that the manufacturing sector has been pretty stable. But wait a minute! Why is it stable when it's supposed to move upwards? In the last ten quarters, the manufacturing sector has been growing at 4-5 percent. That means factories should be busier. But why is not reflected in the Monthly Survey of Selected Industries (Missi)? Something must be wrong somewhere.

Another question: why is it that for the last eight months, the volume of output has been declining? Of course, the computation of the national accounts is probably based on value, and the value of output has been growing quite well. But that's not an adequate explanation. Merchandize exports have been growing briskly in the last eight months. That means there's a real expansion in factory activities! But why is it not reflected in the Missi?

It's possible that the Missi is based on an old sampling structure that no longer reflect the new dynamics of the Philippine. Or its possible that private business organizations dont just tell the truth when the NSO people came.

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