ASEAN manufacturing rises for three straight months | Manufacturing Asia
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ASEAN manufacturing rises for three straight months

Singapore posted the strongest showing in March.

The overall health of ASEAN’s manufacturing industry rose for the third month running in March amid stronger new orders and an increase in production, a closely watched industry survey showed.

The headline S&P Global ASEAN manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) went up to 51.5 last month from 50.4 in February, indicating a “solid improvement” in the sector and one that was the most pronounced in almost a year.

New orders rose for the first time in seven months as domestic orders remained strong, making up for weak export orders which continued to drop for the 22nd month running. Vibrant domestic orders also helped buoy overall output, according to the survey.

Four of the seven countries tracked reported improvements in their respective manufacturing sectors, led by Singapore (56.8) and Indonesia (54.2). The Philippines only posted modest growth while Vietnam’s PMI was mostly unchanged at 59.9.

The rest of the region, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar all reported deteriorating manufacturing conditions last month.

“Renewed rise in new orders, spurred a faster expansion in output. However, underlying demand trends highlighted that the latest rise in new orders largely stemmed from domestic clients,” said Maryam Baluch, Economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

Despite improving conditions, manufacturers’ business confidence remained weak and even went down to its lowest level in eight months.

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