Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Turkish manufacturing PMI falls sharply but still in growth territory in March

Turkish manufacturing PMI falls sharply but still in growth territory in March

The breadth of the upturns in output, new orders and new export business was as wide as their slowdowns during March, as all of the countries covered recorded sustained growth in each, albeit at slower rates than in recent months.

According to Markit Surveys, the PMI manufacturing survey for March came in at 55.1, well above the 54.7 that had been predicted by analysts; the February reading, however, was revised downward to 55.0 from 55.2.

The Inventories Index registered 55.5%, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from the February reading of 56.7%.

IHS Markit economist Aashna Dodhia commented that Malaysia's manufacturing sector ended Q1 2018 on a slightly weaker footing, with business sentiment easing to the weakest since last December, reflecting some concerns towards the 12-month outlook for output.

The latest PMI figures show manufacturing production rose for the 20th successive month, as companies continued to report solid inflows of new work from both domestic and overseas markets. During the first two months of the year, construction spending increased 4.4% from the same time a year earlier. The latest PMI reading indicated the strongest improvement in manufacturing business conditions since March 2015. The increase continued a now 25-month streak of increasing prices for raw materials.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd chief economist Alan Tan said Malaysia's manufacturing growth remains to be in the range of 5% in the first half of 2018 (1H18) supported by the robust economic growth, compared with 6% in 2017.

Adding to that, Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) president and CEO Christian Buhagiar, said manufacturers are still upbeat about their growth prospects for the coming year and many have boosted production capacity. Manufacturers scaled up their purchasing activity in March, though at a slower pace than in February.

While the USA economy ended 2017 on fairly high note, MarketWatch noted it may have gotten off to a softer start in 2018. The new orders index still finished with a 61.9% reading, but that was down 2.3% from February.

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