Korea: Manufacturing PMI rises to six-month high in January
The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 52.8 in January from December’s 51.9. As such, the index moved further above the 50-threshold, signaling a faster improvement in business conditions compared to the previous month.
January’s stronger print was driven by a rebound in output, which increased for the first time since September, and higher new orders growth, which reached the fastest rate since July. These gains came amid robust domestic and international demand. Meanwhile, employment growth remained stable. On another positive note, although firms continue to suffer from rising prices and supply bottlenecks—contributing to further increase in growth of stocks of purchases—a slight easing of supplier delivery times and input inflation suggest that such difficulties may be allaying, helping to boost business sentiment to its highest level since August 2020.
Commenting on the outlook, Usamah Bhatti, economist at IHS Markit, said:
“Supply chain disruption continued to hold back a stronger recovery in activity and demand in the manufacturing sector. Material shortages and rising input costs were exacerbated by delays in sourcing and receiving inputs, though firms will be buoyed by indications that these pressures were easing.”