Factory activity expands at fastest pace in five years in December: PMI

Source Ai Group

The Indian manufacturing sector ended the year on a strong note, with operating conditions in December improving at the strongest rate in five years driven by significant increase in new orders, a monthly survey said.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to a 5 year high of 54.7 in December from 52.6 in November. The modest increase in output in December followed broadly unchanged production volumes in November.

This is for the fifth consecutive month that the index has come in above 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction. In response to greater inflows of new business, job creation quickened to the greatest since August 2012.

"Malaysia's manufacturing sector observed a renewed decline in new orders at the end of the year".

The manufacturing sector grew in December, setting a new record as business conditions improved at a record pace, a new survey showed.

The uptrend was driven by stronger market demand from home and global markets, Dodhia added.

On the back of the stronger customer demand, the employment growth also surged to a record high, while the quality of purchases accelerated to the joint-fastest since February 2011.

"That said, the level of business sentiment eased from November's 47-month high and remained weaker than the series average", the report noted.

Costs of raw materials such as oil and steel rose while prices of materials from Chinese suppliers increased, leading to a sharp rise in input costs in December.

Despite December's poor data, businesses retained positive forecasts for output over the next 12 months as manufacturers project improvement in underlying demand conditions according to anecdotal evidence.

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