Manufacturing PMI at five-month low of 51 in March

Anna Jefferson
April 4, 2018

The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector signalled a robust improvement in business conditions during March, which continued the positive trends seen throughout the first quarter of 2018.

Turkey's Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edged down from 55.6 in February to 51.8 in March, the lowest level recorded since April 2017, IHS Markit said on April 2. Economists had expected the index to fall to 54.5 as a result of the disruption caused by the freezing temperatures.

Aashna Dodhia, Economist at IHS Markit, said that "the recovery in Indonesia's manufacturing sector lost some momentum during March due to softer expansions in output, new orders and employment".

Though new export orders rose during March, Dodhia said, "On a negative note, further advances in trade disputes could potentially weigh on sales to global clients".

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In November last year, the PMI had touched a four-year high of 58.3.

The US Dollar (via the DXY Index) has proven sturdy at the start of the new month and quarter as European markets have come online for the first time since last Thursday.

Economic activity in the nation's manufacturing sector remained solid during March, while construction spending was almost unchanged in February. However, any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

Adding to that, Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) president and CEO Christian Buhagiar, said manufacturers are still upbeat about their growth prospects for the coming year and many have boosted production capacity. The peso's depreciation against the US dollar didn't help matters either. Still, charges rose at only a modest pace, to suggest that manufacturers' margins remained under pressure.

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In Turkey, manufacturing output and new orders have increased, and so have cost burdens.

Despite the overall downturn, comments from the panel of purchasing executives reflected continued expanding business strength, with 17 of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed reporting growth in March.

"The poor weather (that straddled late February/early March) may make the data more than usually hard to interpret", said Adam Cole, chief currencies strategist at RBC.

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