Taiwan: Manufacturing PMI ends the year on a positive note
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), reported by IHS Markit, rose to 50.8 in December from 49.8 in November, thus moving above the 50-threshold and signaling the first improvement in operating conditions in over a year.
The improvement came amid an uptick in the amount of new work received by manufacturers, ending a 15-month run of contraction. Furthermore, strengthening domestic sales, a stabilization of output and a renewed rise in backlogs of work supported the overall result. Regarding prices, output prices fell again in December as firms sought to remain competitive, even though a sharp increase in input costs put pressure on operating margins.
Despite the more positive domestic picture, Annabel Fiddes, principal economist at IHS Markit, highlighted the gloomy external panorama:
“The continued decline in export sales amid ongoing trade tensions remains a particular source of concern for the export-orientated economy. Unless we see a broad-based pick up in global demand alongside the uptick in domestic orders, the sector may struggle to maintain growth momentum at the start of 2020.”