The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) deteriorated to a three-month low in March at 47.2, down from 49.6 in February.
It turned out to be the lowest since December 2018’s reading of 46.8 and is the sixth straight month of contraction since October 2018.
“It clearly showed that member companies under the PMI are struggling to lift their production owing to harsher demand conditions, especially those depending on the export market,” AmBank Research chief economist Dr Anthony Dass said in a note today.
“Besides, manufacturers are being cautious on the inventory levels, with both pre- and post-production stocks falling. Although holdings of finished items depleted as firms stepped up efforts to ship orders in a timely fashion, buying remained low,” he said.
Dass said the research house found that Malaysia’s business conditions contradicted that of Asean neighbours like Vietnam and Myanmar where their business environment improved for the first time in 2019.
The Nikkei Asean Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 in March as manufacturers expanded their output on the back of a slight rebound in new orders.
Source: The Sun Daily