Global Economic Analysis and News of Note: Asian Manufacturing Indexes Falter
- Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) readings for Asian nations were released last week and showed some weakening in the manufacturing sector. The Caixin PMI for China fell to 51.2 in March from 51.7 in February due to the fact that growth in production and new orders slowed and that new export sales increased at the weakest pace in three months. South Korea’s manufacturing reading also declined last month, to 48.4 from 49.2 in February, due to declines in production and new orders. Japan’s Nikkei PMI, meanwhile, fell to 52.4 in March from 53.3 in February. Despite the lower reading, Nikkei said, “[R]ates of expansion … remained solid and were underpinned by marked gains in the capital goods sector.” The Nikkei reading for ASEAN nations was the single bright spot last month. That index increased to 50.9 in March from 50.3 in February due to solid improvements in the manufacturing sectors in Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Readings increased marginally in Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand, but worsened in Malaysia.
- PMIs for North American and European nations will be released this week. As a reminder, all PMI readings can be found here.