Asia factory activity shrinks on lockdowns


Manufacturing activity contracted in export-reliant economies, including Japan and South Korea, and in emerging nations, such as Vietnam, underscoring widening damage from weak global demand and stubbornly high input costs, surveys show.

TOKYO: Factory output slumped widely across Asia in November as slowing global demand and uncertainty over the fallout from China’s strict Covid-19 lockdowns weighed on business sentiment, private surveys shows.

The results highlighted Asia’s darkening economic outlook for 2023, as the lockdowns disrupt international supply and heighten fears of a further slump in its economy, the world’s second-largest.

Amid the pandemic curbs, China’s factory activity shrank in November, a private survey showed. The result implied weaker employment and economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Manufacturing activity also contracted in export-reliant economies, including Japan and South Korea, and in emerging nations, such as Vietnam, underscoring widening damage from weak global demand and stubbornly high input costs, surveys showed.

“Cooling market conditions, sustained cost pressures and weak underlying demand, both domestically and internationally, were reportedly pivotal factors contributing to the declines,” said economist Laura Denman at S&P Global Market Intelligence, which compiles the survey on Japan.

China’s Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index stood at 49.4 in November, up from 49.2 in the previous month but still below the 50 mark, which separates growth from contraction. It has now been below 50 for four consecutive months. — Reuters

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