TOKYO -- ASEAN has seen some momentum in manufacturing growth in August, due to faster rises in both output and new orders, according to a survey.
The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose from 50.4 in July to 51.0 in August. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
Although August data indicated a marginal improvement of the sector, the overall improvement across the region was not quite wide. Four of the seven countries covered by the survey recorded an improvement in manufacturing conditions in August, down from five in July. Thailand saw stagnation, Singapore and Myanmar both signaled a decline.
Vietnam continued to lead the rankings, despite a slower increase in its goods-producing sector. The Philippines and Indonesia situated at second place.
"Manufacturing conditions across ASEAN improved at a faster pace in August," commented Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. "However, the overall upturn was not as broad-based as in previous months."
Aw pointed out the failure of the faster gain in output and new business translating into a steeper increase in input buying, as well as the decline of export sales. He concluded "all these challenges raise questions over whether the growth pickup in August is sustainable in coming months."
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