India's factory slump deepens in May, headcount slides: PMI

01 Juin, 2020, 15:22 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Coronavirus impact Japan's factory activity contracts at fastest pace in May

Asia's factory pain deepened in May as the slump in global trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic worsened, with export powerhouses Japan and South Korea suffering the sharpest declines in business activity in more than a decade.

The final au Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 38.4 from 41.9 in March, its lowest since March 2009, and matching a preliminary reading last month.

It rose to 39.4 in May from April's 33.4, still a long way from the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction and just below an earlier flash reading of 39.5.

Later in the day, data from the United States is expected to show factory activity declined there again last month.

But the trough in global economic activity will be deeper and the rebound is likely to take longer than previously predicted as the pandemic spreads in waves.

"Judging by the PMI sub-indices, the absolute levels of demand-related indices are way below the production-related ones, indicating a pronounced constraining impact from demand on production", said Zhang Liqun, an analyst with the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), adding that more than 50 percent of companies have reported a lack of demand. -China spat over Hong Kong's status and Beijing's handling of the pandemic could sour business sentiment and add to already huge strains on the global economy.

"Industry is likely to have seen an initial jump from the easing of lockdown restrictions". "Until we see a sustained improvement in demand, manufacturing conditions are likely to remain fragile".

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"But output is still likely to be well below normal levels for many months to come as domestic and global demand remain very depressed".

But with citizens still encouraged to stay home and many businesses remaining shuttered, forward-looking indicators in the survey suggested the recovery would be slow, echoing the findings in a Reuters poll last month.

Taiwan's manufacturing activity also fell in May.

Export orders logged the fifth consecutive month of contraction, with a sub-index standing at 35.3 in May, well below the 50-point mark, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to take a toll on global demand.

Official data on Monday showed South Korea extending its exports plunge for a third straight month.

The country's manufacturing sector activity recorded another sharp deterioration in business conditions during May as new orders placed with producers continued to fall after April's record contraction, leading firms to cut jobs at the quickest pace on record, a monthly survey said on Monday.



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