Malaysia factories off to slow start in 2019

Malaysia recorded a PMI of 47.9 last month, up from 46.8, and making it four consecutive months of contraction. — Ahmad Zamzahuri
Malaysia recorded a PMI of 47.9 last month, up from 46.8, and making it four consecutive months of contraction. — Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — After hitting a record low in December 2018, Malaysia’s manufacturing industry rose marginally in January but remains in negative territory, according to Nikkei Malaysia’s Purchasing Manager Index (PMI).

Malaysia recorded a PMI of 47.9 last month, up from 46.8, and making it four consecutive months of contraction.

In the PMI, scores below 50 signify contraction while those above indicate expandion.

“Although there was a marginal up-tick in employment, costs were cut elsewhere as input buying decreased and stocks were scaled back. Elsewhere, survey data indicated falling purchasing prices, enabling firms to raise their own prices more slowly,” said Nikkei Malaysia in its statement today.

It said, however, that easing demand pressures enabled firms to reduce work backlogs, albeit at the weakest rate since September.

New orders also declined strongly since December, with respondents citing unfavourable conditions and weak demand from China, Japan and South Korea, three of the world’s major manufacturing nations.

Last week, the government sought to reassure Malaysians about its policies to revive the local economy and to urge them to participate in it more actively.

Malaysia’s economic growth is expected to ease to 4.5 per cent this year, from the expected 4.9 per cent full-year figure for 2018.