Taiwan: Manufacturing PMI rises to 17-month high in January
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), reported by IHS Markit, climbed to 51.8 in January from 50.8 in December, thus moving further above the 50-threshold and signaling the fastest pace of improvement in operating conditions since August 2018.
The improvement came amid stronger growth of both output and new work received by manufacturers, while export sales returned to expansionary territory for the first time in 17 months. On the price front, output charges fell again in January as firms sought to remain competitive, however, input prices rose on higher raw material costs, further squeezing margins.
Commenting on the more positive picture, Annabel Fiddes, principal economist at IHS Markit, noted:
“Manufacturers registered the strongest increases in output and new orders for just shy of a year-and-a-half, amid an easing of US-China trade tensions. Companies were also more confident regarding the one-year outlook, with optimism rising to its highest since March 2018 […] A brighter outlook supported further increases in employment, buying activity and, importantly, the first increases in inventories for over a year, to suggest companies anticipate production and sales to rise further in the months ahead.”