TOKYO -- The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, marked 50.0 in January, showing manufacturing operating conditions were unchanged from a month ago. December's PMI was 49.4.
A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
The Philippines marked the strongest growth among the nations, at 52.7, followed by Vietnam's 51.9.
Overall, increases in both output and total new orders provided key supports to January's index. On the other hand, the sub-component New Export Orders Index remained in contraction zone at 48.8.
"Foreign demand for ASEAN products remains weak despite more competitive exchange rates," Bernard Aw, economist at IHS Markit, pointed.
"Export growth could get more challenging with greater global trade uncertainty on the horizon. This suggests that domestic markets will likely be the main engine for manufacturing growth."
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