Tue, Dec 04, 2012 - Page 13 News List

PMI fell for sixth straight month, HSBC report says

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) deteriorated slightly faster last month than in the previous month, HSBC Holdings PLC said in a report yesterday.

Last month’s PMI reading was 47.4, down from 47.8 in October, marking the sixth consecutive month that the index has fallen below the neutral 50 mark, the report showed.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a value below that threshold suggests contraction.

The HSBC report — based on data from a survey of about 300 manufacturers — comes amid the government professing optimism that the economy may have bottomed out in the September quarter, when it grew 0.98 percent year-on-year, with the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) forecasting on Nov. 23 that the economy would rise by 2.97 percent this quarter.

The report showed the sub-index for production slid drastically last month compared with October as a result of decreasing orders from home and abroad, while reduced global demand also caused manufacturers to decrease their stocks of finished goods last month.

However, employment in the manufacturing industry rose slightly last month, marking its first increase since February, HSBC said.

Pricing pressures intensified last month as the sub-index for output prices fell despite a rise in the sub-index for input prices. HSBC attributed the decline in output prices to companies’ efforts to expand sales.

Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery time dipped last month because of fewer orders, it said.

The latest report also showed that the quantity of purchases had declined for the fifth consecutive month last month, while stocks of purchases also slid for a fifth straight month last month due to falling sales.

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