TOKYO -- Manufacturing in ASEAN economies improved marginally in May, helped by quicker expansions of output and new orders.
The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Manager's Index, or PMI, rose from 50.4 in April to 50.6 in May, marking the highest index reading since last August. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion while a reading below 50 points to a contraction.
ASEAN manufacturing firms were fueled by stronger demand growth, which supported the quickest expansion of production for six months. Myanmar recorded the sharpest rate of improvement with new orders, while Malaysia and Singapore registered further downturns in overall manufacturing conditions in May.
All seven monitored countries saw an overall increase in manufacturing costs for the first time in seven months, as suppliers raised their charges in accordance with firmer demand.
"ASEAN manufacturing firms saw an established recovery of business conditions in May, building on the progress made after the downturn at the start of the year," said David Owen, Economist at IHS Markit,which complies the survey.
However, given the impact of the U.S.-China trade war, "businesses will be downbeat on news of tariff increases in May. Export demand from China may be damaged once more, possibly leading to another period of decline in foreign sales," he added.
For more information,visit IHS Markit website.