The HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Taiwan returned to expansion last month, ending six straight months of decline as demand from the US and China showed more signs of improvement, the British banking group said in a report yesterday.
The PMI, a leading gauge of the health of the manufacturing industry, rose to an eight-month high of 50.6 last month from 47.4 in November, as manufacturers reported healthy demand, especially in the US and China, the report said.
A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any value below that threshold suggests contraction.
“China’s recovery and firm US demand pushed Taiwan’s manufacturing sector back into expansion for the first time since May, shoring up the local job market and GDP growth in the fourth quarter,” HSBC Greater China economist Donna Kwok (郭浩庄) said in the report.
Challenges to the external outlook remain as US growth could stumble depending on how the world’s largest economy copes with its “fiscal cliff,” Kwok said.
The sub-indices on new orders and new export orders increased, while the output reading climbed back into expansion for the first time in seven months, albeit marginally, the report found. Work backlogs dropped for the seventh successive month last month at a marked pace, the report added.