KUALA LUMPUR: The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or PMI, came in at 48.6 in January, which was was the highest in 20 months, the Nikkei Asian Review said.
In its survey report issued on Thursday, it said this an improvement from December’s reading of 47.1.
A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while one below 50 points to a contraction. The latest figure was the highest in 20 months.
The news report quoted Amy Brownbill, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey that operating conditions at Malaysian manufacturers “deteriorated at the weakest rate in 20 months at the start of 2017”.
She said this showed signs that goods producers had come through the worst of the current downturn.
Brownbill pointed out that both production and new orders fell at slower rates, with the former declining at the weakest rate in over 18 months.
She also noted that new export orders also picked up for the first time in eight months. The weakness of the Ringgit improved global competitiveness.