The easing of COVID-related restrictions led to record rates of expansion in factory output and new orders in the ASEAN bloc in October, with IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rebounding at the quickest pace since data collection started in July 2012.
The headline PMI rose from 50.0 in September to 53.6 in October, IHS Markit said on 2 November, noting that the index showed the first improvement in ASEAN manufacturing conditions since May.
All but one of the seven economies of IHS Markit’s ASEAN manufacturing index saw improved conditions, with Indonesia topping the rankings. The headline PMI in Indonesia, at 57.2, was the highest on record and indicative of a rapid improvement in the health of the sector, amid looser lockdown measures. Singapore’s manufacturing sector followed, where the headline index at 54.5 continued to be firmly in expansion territory for a second consecutive month, signalling a sharp uplift in manufacturing conditions.
Malaysia and Vietnam saw their first improvement in the manufacturing sector since May 2021, IHS Markit’s data showed.
“The easing of COVID-19 measures across the region saw the ASEAN manufacturing sector rebound during October. The PMI hit an all-time high of 53.6 and signalled a sharp improvement in operating conditions, aided by record rates of expansion in both output and new orders,” Lewis Cooper, Economist at IHS Markit, said, commenting on the latest survey results.
“This was good news following a third quarter plagued by downturns, and the latest data suggest that the sector has turned a corner as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and the sector rebounds. Next month’s PMI data will subsequently give the first indication into the ongoing strength of the recovery as it gets underway,” Cooper added.