Malaysia: Manufacturing PMI falls deeper into negative territory in September
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, receded to 49.0 in September, from 49.3 in August. As a result, the index slid further below the 50-threshold that separates expansionary from contractionary conditions in the manufacturing sector.
September’s drop was largely attributed to a continued slowdown in new orders amid ongoing Covid-19 disruptions, which prompted manufacturers to reduce output for the first time in four months. Meanwhile, employment kept on falling for the sixth consecutive month, albeit at a softer pace than in August. More positively, business confidence jumped to a nine-month high in September, as firms were optimistic that market conditions would gradually normalize. On the price front, input costs increased for the fourth month running, largely owing to raw material shortages and higher prices for imports, which led firms to raise their prices again, albeit marginally due to still-subdued demand.