Malaysian factory output now down 21 months running

Nikkei said Asean region’s manufacturing PMI declined to a 13-month low, as other countries in the region also posted low scores. — Reuters pic
Nikkei said Asean region’s manufacturing PMI declined to a 13-month low, as other countries in the region also posted low scores. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — Production among Malaysian manufacturers has fallen for 21 consecutive months as conditions in the country worsened at a “solid pace”, according to Nikkei Malaysia’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey report.

The headline PMI posted for December was 47.1, which was the same as November, signalling continued deterioration.

A score above 50.0 signals improvement in manufacturing conditions, and Malaysia has not reached a score of 50.0 since early 2015.

“Moreover, the latest reading contributed to the joint-lowest quarterly average (with Q2 2016) since the survey began in July 2012,” Nikkei Malaysia said in a statement.

“Contributing to the overall decline in manufacturing conditions was a fall in production. According to panellists, an unstable economy and a fall in new work inflows were factors behind the decrease in output,” it added.

New orders for goods manufacturers also fell for the 22nd month running, with 24 per cent of those surveyed registering a decline in new work inflows, compared to only 13 per cent registering an expansion.

“A drop in international demand was also reflected in the survey data, with new export orders declining at the sharpest rate since June,” it said.

In a separate report, Nikkei said Asean region’s manufacturing PMI declined to a 13-month low, as other countries in the region also posted low scores.

The region’s PMI was 49.1 in December, down from 49.4 in November.

Neighbours Singapore scored a record low with 43.4, while Phillipines’ 55.7 score was a four-month low.

“Weaker client demand led Asean manufacturers to purchase fewer inputs for the third straight month in December. This saw levels of pre-production stocks drop at the most marked pace in 16 months,” Nikkei Asean said in a statement.

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