Manufacturing PMI up in August

By Kris Crismundo

September 3, 2018, 6:01 pm

MANILA -- The manufacturing sector appeared revitalized in August, the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of IHS Markit reported Monday.

In the survey, the country’s manufacturing score rose to 51.9 in August from a 50.9 index in July of this year.

The report noted that although output growth softened, inflows of new business increased, coupled with improving business optimism and job generation.

IHS Markit Principal Economist Bernard Aw said the country’s manufacturing sector has regained its growth momentum last month, while raising hopes that the demand slowdown in July “was just a blip”.

“While output growth eased, new business inflows picked up pace, driven by domestic demand. Job creation resumed after two months of lower employment and business confidence also improved,” Aw said.

However, the economist noted that steep inflation last month and the weakening of the local currency had a dent on the production costs of firms.

“[T]he improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector was marred by strong inflationary pressures. Input cost inflation remained elevated and similar to recent months,” Aw noted.

“With the indicators of price gauges remaining elevated, the August survey sends a hawkish message to policymakers,” he added.

The survey showed that business confidence in the next 12 months improved in August.

Meanwhile, IHS Markit’s manufacturing indices in ASEAN countries settled at 51.9 in Indonesia, 51.2 in Malaysia, 49.9 in Thailand, and 46.4 in Myanmar.

Readings of 50 and above show improvement of the sector while scores below 50 mean deterioration. (PNA)