Korea: Manufacturing conditions improve at a stable pace in December
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) remained unchanged at November’s 52.9 in December, remaining above the 50-threshold that separates an improvement from a deterioration in the manufacturing sector over the previous month.
The reading was led by slightly slower, but still solid, rises in output and new orders, supported by improved demand for vehicles and the recovery in external demand driven by trading partners such as Japan and China. Moreover, employment grew for the first time since April 2019. On the price front, input costs continued to rise, with firms partially offsetting the impact through higher output prices.
On December’s result, Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, commented:“December data marked a sustained improvement in the health of the South Korean manufacturing sector, as the latest Manufacturing PMI ended a turbulent year firmly in expansion territory.”On the outlook, he added:“South Korean goods producers remained optimistic in their outlook for activity over the coming 12 months, as the pandemic fades further and new products are launched.”