Malaysia’s manufacturing PMI better at 48.4 in March – S&P Global

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s seasonally adjusted manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to 48.8 in March 2023 from 48.4 in February 2023, indicating improving demand in the manufacturing sector, says S&P Global.

In a statement today, the financial information and analytics firm said the latest reading pointed to the least marked slowdown in business conditions since last September.

“The latest PMI reading is also consistent with sustained, solid expansions in both manufacturing

production and gross domestic product, with signs that growth has picked up since the start of the year,” it said.

S&P Global Market Intelligence economist Usamah Bhatti noted that while new order intakes moderated further, the reduction was the slowest recorded since last October and was only mild as some firms were able to secure greater new order volumes.

“That said, production volumes continued to be scaled back, indicating that the sector still has some way to go before demand recovers fully,” he said.

Moving forward, Usamah opined that firms would be buoyed by a further softening in input price inflation.

“Inflationary pressures were well below those seen in the second half of 2022, with the latest reading of the respective seasonally adjusted index being at the lowest since May 2020.

“Softer cost pressures meant less upward pressure on selling prices, which were broadly unchanged over the month,” he said.

According to S&P Global, Malaysian manufacturers remained hopeful that demand conditions would normalise over the coming 12 months, as indicated by the 21st consecutive month of optimism regarding future output.

“While the degree of confidence eased to a three-month low, it remained strong overall and above the series average,” it added. – Bernama