A bank economist said Friday he expects a sluggish gross domestic product growth in the third quarter as the spread of the more virulent Delta variant of COVID-19 prompted the government to implement stricter quarantine restrictions in August that affected mobility and economic activities.
ING Bank Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa noted in a report the slowdown of the Purchasing Managers’ Index in manufacturing to its lowest reading this year at 46.4 percent in August.
“The Delta variant exacted its mark on 3Q [third quarter] economic activity, slowing average PMI manufacturing to the lowest reading for the year,” Mapa said.
PMI manufacturing managed a modest expansion in September as quarantine measures were relaxed midway through the month. PMI for September improved to 50.9 with the two-week relaxation of curbs although overall production output, new orders, input purchasing and employment all fell for the month.
Firms cited weak consumer demand, ECQ measures and resignations as the reason for lower employment.