Asean manufacturing remains weak during May

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South East Asia Workers at engine assembly plant

South East Asia’s manufacturing sector continues to deteriorate amid further rapid contractions in both output and new orders despite re-opening of more economies from Covid-19 related lockdowns, with expectations of stabilizing production in the upcoming months.

According to Japan’s Nomura Global Markets Research, Asean manufacturing experienced higher activity in May but the pace of recovery is more gradual than China’s pickup in March.

IHS Markit, a London based global information provider has indicated that headline PMI registered 33.5 in May from April’s nadir of 30.7. The second lowest recorded since July 2012.

Singapore was the hardest hit as it was the only country who experienced dramatic downturn. The headline figure (26.4) the lowest in the series on its near 8th year history.

Indonesian manufacturers is also experiencing similarly marked decline, the headline index (28.6) is the 2nd lowest they ever recorded. Myanmar was hit as well with a headline figure (38.9) from April’s lowest figure.

Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand – which were under extreme lockdown shows recovery in their purchasing managers’ index (PMI) number but remain low in the month of May. Although the manufacturing on the Asean region remains weak, Domestic manufacturers remained optimistic on the oulook for the rest of the year. Majority on the regional bloc is expecting a return to growth once all covid-19 related imposed restrictions are lifted.

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