Malaysia: Manufacturing PMI rises in December
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, rose to 49.1 in December up from 48.4 in November, logging the highest reading since August. However, the index remained below the 50-threshold that separates improving from deteriorating conditions in the manufacturing sector.
December’s result was chiefly driven by broadly stabilizing employment levels. Nonetheless, output and new orders moderated once again in December, as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to subdue demand domestically and abroad. Moreover, although manufacturers remained optimistic, firms’ confidence improved at the softest pace since August. Lastly, on the price front, input costs rose at the sharpest rate in over three years, prompting firms to hike output charges markedly.
Commenting on December’s result, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said:
“Malaysia’s manufacturers continued to report challenging conditions in December, with the COVID-19 pandemic not only hitting demand both at home and in key export markets, but also causing increasingly severe supply chain delays, especially for imported goods. […] Encouragingly, job losses have eased and manufacturers remain optimistic on balance that output will continue to recover in 2021, led by the roll out of vaccines helping to restore trading to more normal conditions.”