Hanoi (VNA) - The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of the Philippines in manufacturing rose to 52.3 points in February from 52.1 last January in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to London-based global information provider IHS Markit Ltd (IHS Markit).

In its report released on March 2, IHS Markit also mentioned growth in the number of new orders, exports and labour recruitment activities in the Southeast Asian nation in February.

It said that the Philippines led other ASEAN countries in PMI in manufacturing industry in the reviewed period, followed by Indonesia with 51.9 points.  Meanwhile, Thailand and Malaysia witnessed decreases in PMI in February, reaching 49.5 points and 48.5 points, respectively.

According to IHS Markit, businesses in the Philippines are still optimistic about production and business activities in the next 12 months, with positive forecasts for growth, sales and plans to expand business and production./.