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ASEAN manufacturing improves on rising global trade

Economists warn the uptick will be slow to boost the broader economy

Indonesia was one of the Southeast Asian countries to see an uptick in its August PMI.   © Reuters

HONG KONG Buoyed by a continuing recovery in global trade, Asian manufacturing improved in August, with eight of the 12 economies surveyed by the Nikkei showing a pickup and just four in contractionary territory. Economists, however, generally believe it will take time before gains in the industrial sector translate into a broad-based uptick in inflation.

The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index -- which tracks activity in the Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore -- rebounded to 50.4 in August from 49.3 in the previous month. A measure above 50 signals expansion, while anything below signals contraction.

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