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December PMI shows inflation pressures ease at Asia manufacturers

Export slump proves more intractable, dragging down business confidence

The share price of Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto rose over the last two months of 2018 as oil prices slid.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Stabler local currencies and lower oil prices have eased cost pressures at Asian manufacturers, who still face slumping external demand, according to the latest Nikkei Purchasing Managers' Index survey.

The monthly survey asks companies in Asian economies outside mainland China about changes in output, orders and other business conditions, versus the previous month. A PMI reading above 50 points to expansion, while one below 50 indicates contraction.

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