Korea: Manufacturing PMI falls in April, albeit still marking an improvement in manufacturing conditions
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 54.6 in April from March’s 55.3. That said, the index remained well above the 50-threshold, signaling a sustained improvement in business conditions from the previous month.
The softer amelioration came amid slower output growth but a still-strong rise in new orders, bolstered by stronger demand, both domestically and from abroad. This led manufacturing businesses to increase employment levels for the second successive month, although despite this backlogs of work expanded at the fastest pace in the last 11 years. Meanwhile, raw-material shortages and longer lead times led firms to build inventories for the sixth consecutive month. Consequently, manufacturers experienced higher input costs, which were partly passed on to clients.
On the outlook, Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, said:
“South Korean goods producers remained optimistic in their outlook for activity over the coming year. Firms were hopeful that a wider economic recovery would drive demand for newly launched products in both domestic and external markets.”