ASEAN Manufacturing Sector Improves at Fastest Pace in 11 Months

The ASEAN region saw overall manufacturing conditions improve in September at the fastest pace for 11 months, with sharp increases in new orders and output, the latest S&P Global PMI data showed on 3 October. 

The S&P Global ASEAN Manufacturing PMI™ is compiled by S&P Global from responses to monthly questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in panels of around 2,100 manufacturers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries account for 98 percent of ASEAN manufacturing value added.

Companies in those countries reported in September steeper increases in output, new orders, purchasing activity, and employment. In addition, business confidence remained historically strong.

The headline PMI rose to 53.5 in September from 52.3 in August, signalling an improvement in the health of the ASEAN manufacturing sector for the twelfth successive month. The rate of expansion was the quickest since October 2021 and solid overall, S&P Global said.

As has been the case in each of the past ten months, Singapore registered the strongest improvement in operating conditions overall.

Improved demand and increased production schedules led firms to expand their payroll numbers for the third month in a row. Though modest, the rate of job creation was the quickest seen since the series began in July 2012.

ASEAN manufacturers continued to be optimistic about the 12-month outlook, with the overall level of positive sentiment unchanged from August, which marked the highest degree of confidence since November 2016, according to S&P Global’s data.

“Encouragingly, inflationary pressures appeared to soften slightly at the end of September, with manufacturers’ expenses rising at the joint-slowest rate for a year and factory gate charges increasing at the softest pace since February,” said Annabel Fiddes, Economics Associate Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.