TOKYO -- The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to 50.7 in February, up from 50.2 in January, as a relatively broad-based upturn saw five of the seven countries reporting an improvement in business conditions.
A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
"The ASEAN manufacturing upturn continued in February. Output grew at the strongest rate for ten months, underpinned by higher new orders," said Bernard Aw, principal economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
However, "ASEAN manufacturers faced a further sharp rise in input costs," Aw noted. "Limited growth of selling prices suggests that, so far, companies have struggled to pass on greater costs to customers, which puts pressure on profit margins," Aw said.
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