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Asia Economy Last Updated: Oct 1, 2013 - 10:13 AM

Indian and South Korean manufacturing contracted in September
By Finfacts Team
Oct 1, 2013 - 6:29 AM

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Indian and South Korean manufacturing contracted in September but conditions improved in South Korea according to PMI data issued today.

Operating conditions across the Indian manufacturing sector deteriorated for the second consecutive month in September. However, both output and new orders contracted at slower rates. Still, faced with fewer projects, companies reduced their workforce numbers for the first time since February 2012.

Up from 48.5 in August to 49.6 in September, the seasonally adjusted HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) indicated a marginal and slower deterioration of business conditions in India. However, the PMI quarterly average for Q3 was the lowest since Q1 2009.

September data pointed to a further contraction of manufacturing production in India, with panellists commenting on lower levels of incoming new work and economic instability. The overall rate of contraction was, however, marginal and eased since August.

Although new orders fell at a slower and marginal pace, the contraction of export business accelerated to the quickest in over two years. Anecdotal evidence suggested that a depreciation of the rupee versus the US dollar had resulted in higher prices paid for inputs and limited firms’ ability to price competitively.

The HSBC South Korea Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from 47.5 in August to 49.7 in September. Whilst the index remained below the 50.0 no change mark separating growth from contraction, it was the highest in four months and close to 50.0 pointing to a near-stabilisation of business conditions.

South Korean manufacturing business conditions deteriorated for a fifth successive month in September according to the latest PMI data from HSBC. Growth was notably absent across many of the major indices, signalling a continuation of the deterioration of business conditions, which began in June. The overall rate of decline eased markedly since August however, and the latest data illustrated a marginal increase in manufacturing employment.

Output, new orders, and purchasing activity were virtually unchanged in September, registering only negligible declines. This contrasted with recent falls and signalled a broad-based change of direction in the trajectory of South Korea’s manufacturing economy. Employment data supported this realignment, as the respective index inched above the 50.0 no change mark for the first time in four months

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