TOKYO -- Vietnamese manufacturing sector ended the first quarter of the year on a positive note. The Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, rose to a 22-month high of 54.6 in March from 54.2 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
According to IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, improving client demand led to another sharp rise in new orders during March. The rate of growth in new export orders accelerated and was the fastest this year so far.
"Particularly pleasing in the latest month was a near-record increase in employment as companies maintained optimism that workloads will continue to expand in the near term at least," said Andrew Harker at IHS Markit.
"The manufacturing industry therefore looks set to continue to be a key driver of GDP growth in the first quarter and hopefully throughout 2017, for which HIS Markit forecasts a rise of 6.4%," he added.
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