India manufacturing PMI rises to 5 year high in December

Buildings in Beijing shrouded by smog. Wikimedia Commons

It was a positive end for the Vietnamese manufacturing sector in 2017 with the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rising to 52.5 in December from November's 51.4, according to the latest survey from Nikkei's IHS Markit that released on Tuesday. It was also lower compared to the 55.7 reading posted a year earlier. The modest increase in output in December followed broadly unchanged production volumes in November.

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The index considers any score above 50 to be an improvement, while those below signify a contraction.

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The manufacturing sector grew in December, setting a new record as business conditions improved at a record pace, a new survey showed. The increase was driven by stronger new order growth and the fastest rise in employment in the sector since the survey began in 1998. In fact, job creation accelerated to the strongest since August 2012. "Anecdotal evidence pointed to stronger market demand from home and worldwide markets", said Aashna Dodhia, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. At the same time, stronger demand allowed firms to raise prices at the fastest pace in 10 months to make up for rising input costs, suggesting overall inflation could remain above the central bank's medium-term target of 4 per cent in the coming month.

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This is also the highest PMI in the last three months of October, November and December. "As consumer spending recuperates, firms were restricted in their ability to pass on higher cost burdens to clients which further placed upward pressure on firms' margins". "This outlook was shared by the manufacturing community as sentiment picked up to the strongest in three months amid expected improvement in market conditions over the next 12 months", Dodhia added.

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