Korea: Manufacturing PMI improves marginally in December
January 2, 2017
The Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reported by IHS Markit was 49.4 in December, slightly above November’s 48.0. Despite the mild improvement, the indicator remained below the 50-point threshold, indicating a contraction in companies’ business activity.
According to Markit, the latest data suggest that the downturn in manufacturing is easing. Production and new orders continued to decline, although at a slower pace than in the previous month. The decline slowed thanks to a boost in foreign demand for Korean goods. On a negative note, employment continued to deteriorate in December and input prices soared, which led manufacturers to increase their charges for the first time in more than three years.
According to IHS Markit, “the weakness of the local currency did not bode well for manufacturers’ costs burdens, as greater imported raw material costs drove up input prices to the greatest extent in over five-and-a-half years.”