Factory output growth further eased in February, with preliminary results of the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries showing the volume of production index up by 1.2% year on year, slowing from January’s revised 5% uptick. Furniture and fixtures production rose by 131%, also easing from 238% in January. Production of petroleum and chemical products, on the other hand, fell by 16.7% and 16.8% respectively — a reversal from the 4% and 2.1% uptick in January. Manufacturing growth in 2013 was mainly driven by demand for furniture and fixtures, and chemical products. Export data released showed shipments of chemicals rising by around 66%, and of woodcraft and furniture, by around 56%, in February. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., said the manufacturing sector should grow faster in the coming months due to resurgent overseas demand.