Malaysia: Manufacturing PMI hits new record high in April
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by IHS Markit, jumped to 53.9 in April, following March’s 49.9, logging the best reading on record. As a result, the index landed comfortably above the 50-threshold that separates improving from deteriorating conditions in the manufacturing sector, compared to the previous month.
April’s upturn largely reflected expanding output and a significant rise in new orders—the sharpest since April 2014—on the back of firming domestic demand, particularly for new products. Moreover, new export orders returned to growth for the first time in more than one-and-a-half years, amid higher demand from the U.S. and Asian markets. Against this backdrop, firms turned notably more optimistic with regards to output for the coming 12 months. However, employment levels declined again, albeit only marginally. Lastly, on the inflation front, higher costs stemming from raw material shortages and logistics disruptions, resulted in the sharpest input cost inflation. As a result, firms raised their prices, albeit only partially.