Malaysia: Manufacturing PMI rises notably in April but remains in contractionary territory
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is produced by IHS Markit and Nikkei, ticked up to 49.4 in April from 47.2 in March. Although the headline figure was the highest since September 2018, it remained below the neutral 50-point mark indicating tougher operating conditions.
April’s increase came on the back of growth in export orders, which pulled up the indices for new orders and output. Moreover, business sentiment for the year ahead reached the highest level in over five years. Increased demand from abroad and stronger business confidence underpinned higher employment levels in April.
Commenting on April’s print, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, noted:
“The headline PMI showed its largest monthly rise for nearly one and a half years, suggesting manufacturing should help drive faster economic growth to just over 5% at the start of the second quarter, with the trade drag easing compared to prior months.”