Second quarter started on a negative note for manufacturers

The second quarter started on a negative note for factories after NCR+ was placed under ECQ from late March until mid-April due to a surge in infections.

Movement restrictions have since been relaxed to less strict GCQ, allowing some factories to recover some lost ground. As a result, output levels declined at a softer pace last month, while only a marginal contraction in new orders was recorded, thanks to improving demand from overseas as international restrictions ease.

An economist from IHS Markit, a British information provider, said, “Softer declines in output and new orders signaled a step in the right direction, whilst a renewed increase in overseas demand also supported the sector.”

But problems remain for manufacturers, as delivery times lengthened due to existing curbs. Material shortages and transportation bottlenecks also delayed input deliveries. To mitigate the effects of longer lead times, firms built safety stocks.

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