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Southeast Asia's production gains speed as China slows

Manufacturing index up 6.2% for first half as companies diversify bases

A Thai plant of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors. Southeast Asia's auto production grew by more than China's in the first half of 2018.
Mitsubishi Motors operates this plant in Thailand. Southeast Asia's auto production grew by a faster rate than China's in the first half of 2018. (Photo by Hiroshi Kotani)

MANILA -- Manufacturers in Southeast Asia are ramping up production at an accelerating pace as rising labor costs in China continue pushing companies to move in.

The manufacturing production index compiled by the Japan Center for Economic Research shows 6.2% year-on-year growth for five key Southeast Asian countries as a weighted average for the January-June period, just shy of China's 6.9%.

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