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KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — The manufacturing sector’s downturn continued in February for the fifth successive month, with persistent declines in both output and new orders.
Nikkei’s Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) released today showed that the new work orders that fell during February were the strongest decrease seen in the survey’s almost-seven year history.
“February data pointed to a sustained contraction of Malaysia’s manufacturing economy, reflecting further falls in production and sales,” IHS Markit economist Joe Hayes said in a statement.
“Near-term manufacturing prospects appear downbeat, as firms opted to leave workforce numbers unchanged, scaled back input buying sharply and reduced inventories, suggesting that firms are bracing themselves for continued production cutbacks.”
Nikkei’s PMI, which measures manufacturing performance, recorded 47.6 in February, down from 47.9 in January.
Employment remained stagnant and business confidence dropped to a three-month low.