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CLICK TO ENLARGEPETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s weak manufacturing activities, as measured by the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), reflect signs of a downturn in the country’s industrial production and gross domestic product performance.
This is based on the historical relationship between the PMI and official statistics, according to IHS Markit, which compiled the PMI data.
IHS Markit said the manufacturing sector continued to be badly hit by the Covid-19 contained measures, with production falling sharply for the second consecutive month and new orders moderating further.
In July 2021, the domestic manufacturing activities remained in the contraction territory for the second month as the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was recorded at 40.1, as compared to 39.9 in June.
Manufacturing activities are deemed to be in expansion mode if PMI is recorded at above 50. The last time Malaysia saw expansion in manufacturing activities was in May 2021, when the PMI was reported at 51.3.Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid (pic) concurred that supply bottlenecks may have caused in the build-up of inflationary pressures.
Malaysia is also among the five Asean countries that have suffered a decline in business conditions during July.
On the contrary, only Singapore and the Philippines posted PMI levels of above 50, at 56.3 and 50.4 respectively, according to IHS Markit.
“Overall, the Asean manufacturing sector saw a sharp deterioration in conditions during July. Both output and new orders fell for the second month in a row, with the rates of decline the fastest since May 2020 and steep overall.
“The headline PMI for Asean sank to a 13-month low of 44.6 in July, noticeably further into contraction territory than June’s reading of 49.0,” it said in a note yesterday.Across Asean, IHS Markit said divergence at the country level was again notable, with the most substantial being in Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia.
In the case of Malaysia, IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson said that the recent rise in Covid-19 infections has dampened demand and disrupted supply chains.AmBank Group chief economist Anthony Dass (pic) told StarBiz that the disruptions in supply chain and logistics, apart from the weak ringgit, would cause production costs to go up