(Rina Chandran – Bloomberg Business)
If you thought Asia’s manufacturing giants are just China, South Korea and Thailand, say hello to a new one: Vietnam. Its benchmark purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing has expanded – a reading above 50 – every month since Aug. 2013, according to HSBC and Markit Economics.
That feat is unmatched by any other Asian country that HSBC and Markit track. By contrast, China’s manufacturing PMI has contracted in eight months in that same period. Thailand’s manufacturing, as measured by the government, contracted for 22 months through January.
“Central to the latest improvement in business conditions were further rises in both output and new orders,” HSBC and Markit said in a note accompanying the release of Vietnam’s March data. Vietnamese firms were able to secure more new orders from both domestic and export clients and “falling commodity prices in world markets continued to feed through to lower input costs,” said Andrew Harker, senior economist at Markit. Click here to read more.