Malaysia's manufacturing PMI back into contraction in September

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By contrast, the manufacturing sector in the eurozone is growing at its fastest pace for six-and-a-half years. The rate of employment growth was modest, but the second-fastest since October 2015.

The Philippines' manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the month of September has slightly improved from August figure, but growth remains subdued.

IHS Markit said the survey suggested production and new orders were both above long-run average rate - but said costs were being pushed up by a combination of rising commodity prices, the exchange rate and increased supply-chain pressures. Sales have increased to Europe, China, the USA and South America. Both input and output costs are rising at a greater rate ad this has again increased vendor lead times to the longest for nearly six and a half years.

"On the export side, a very competitive pound and healthy global demand should buoy United Kingdom manufacturers competing in foreign markets", he commented.

"This will depend on factors such as actual fulfilment and value of orders, as well as cost pressures faced by businesses".

Ai chief executive Innes Willox says the recovery in manufacturing activity is continuing, but conditions appear to be moderating.




Against that background, the BoE surprised investors last month when its officials said they were likely to raise interest rates soon, citing a reduced tolerance for above-target inflation.

Optimism is still relatively strong, with more than 51% of firms expecting production to rise over the coming year, reflecting global expansion efforts, efficiency drives and fresh investment plans. "There were also reports of rising cost inflation affecting production levels", added Aw.

Neil Lloyd, sales director at law firm, FBC Manby Bowdler, observed: "The strong performance this month should come as no surprise".

"Order book gains continued to underwhelm relative to the historical trend - even as exports returned to growth - which weighed on hiring".

Among surveyed countries in Southeast Asia, manufacturing growth in the Philippines only followed Vietnam with production PMI of 53.3 in the previous month. Also positively, job creation increased again, but we are continually hearing that the shortage of skills is holding the sector back.

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