Myanmar’s manufacturing downturn slows in OctoberStaff Writer | November 3, 2016
The downturn in Myanmar’s manufacturing sector continued during October. However, the pace of contraction eased to the weakest in three months, driven by a return to growth territory for incoming new orders.
Asia Nikkei Myanmar Manufacturing PMI
The headline Nikkei Myanmar Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) remained below the all-important 50.0 threshold for the fifth month in succession during October.
However, at 49.0, up from 48.1 in September, the latest figure was indicative of only a marginal deterioration in operating conditions. New orders grew in Myanmar’s manufacturing sector during October, ending a four-month period of decline.
That said, the rate of expansion was only fractional and weaker than the series average. There was some evidence suggesting that higher new business levels were linked to stronger underlying demand from the Yangon and Mandalay regions.
Meanwhile, the fall in output was reflected in a further decline in post-production inventories. Manufacturers continued to lower their production during October, lengthening the current sequence of contraction to six consecutive months.
However, the rate of decline softened to the weakest in five months. Panellists commented that a shortage of raw materials had led to the decline in output during the month.
October survey data signalled further job cuts in Myanmar’s manufacturing sector, extending the current trend to three months.
The fall in workforce numbers was recorded amid the sharpest deterioration in outstanding business in the series 11-month history. ■