Malaysian manufacturing conditions deteriorate further in April

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The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers´ index (PMI) climbed to 51.1 in April from a four-month low of 51.0 in March, and topped economists´ forecast for a modest slowdown to 50.9.

Aashna Dodhia, economist at IHS Markit, said "the latest PMI data indicate that stronger demand conditions helped to shift Indonesia's manufacturing sector onto a higher growth trajectory in April, with output and new orders rising at the fastest rates since July 2014 and June 2016, respectively". The rate of new export order growth was marginal overall and the weakest observed across the current 20-month expansionary sequence.

"The construction sector's difficulties in recent months has clearly been influenced by economic, political and Brexit uncertainties fuelling clients' caution over committing to new projects", said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor at EY ITEM Club.

"Panellists noted that increased competition and rising labour shortages may impact output potential over the coming 12 months". Panellists attributed the improvement in demand to new product launches.

The report also showed that at 58.6 points, the production level index for the manufacturing sector grew- albeit at a slower pace when compared to its level in the preceding month- for the 14th consecutive month in April 2018.

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The weaker growth signalled by the headline PMI was mainly due to slower (yet still robust) increases in new orders and employment.

Production in Indonesia's manufacturing sector recorded growth for the third straight month in April. However, output charge inflation was solid and the fastest since last September.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: "The start of the second quarter saw the United Kingdom manufacturing sector lose further steam". New orders remain too few and far between, with just a small improvement in the level of extra work reported this month. Furthermore, the pace of input price inflation accelerated to the sharpest in almost 7 years. The former rose at the fastest pace in 2018 so far, while inventories of finished goods were depleted at the joint-fastest rate in the survey history.

It also said that firms continued to shed staff, while inflationary pressures moderated sharply.

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