Korea: Manufacturing PMI rises in February to over-decade high
The IHS Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 55.3 in February from 53.2 in January, moving further above the 50-threshold that separates an improvement from a deterioration in the manufacturing sector over the previous month, and marking an over 10-year high.
The uptick came amid the fastest output and new orders growth in nearly 11 years, amid reports among manufacturers that demand was vibrant, and new product development was paying off. Renewed demand came in particular from South East Asia. Moreover, employment stabilized in February following job losses in January. Meanwhile, on the price front, input price inflation kept accelerating, which was passed on to customers through higher output prices.
On the reading and outlook, Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, commented:
“February data provided a further signal that the South Korean manufacturing sector continued its sustained recovery following Covid-19 disruption last year […]. South Korean manufacturers reported a significantly optimistic outlook for production over the coming 12 months.”