Photo: Duc Thanh
Monthly improvement in production one of the largest since March 2011.
by Minh Do
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The Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) - a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance - rose to 55.7 in June from 53.9 in May, one of the largest monthly improvements since the survey began in March 2011 and largely on the back of business conditions in Vietnam improving sharply.
Business conditions have now strengthened in each of the past 31 months.
“Vietnam’s manufacturing sector appears to be motoring midway through 2018, with growth in output and new orders among the fastest seen since the survey began in 2011,” said Mr. Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit. “The current growth phase has been extremely positive for Vietnamese workers, with firms taking on extra staff at a record pace during June.”
Manufacturing output increased at a substantial pace as the rate of growth accelerated for the third month running.
Panelists reported that higher new orders and stronger client demand has been behind the rise in output. In line with the picture for production, the rate of growth in new orders was among the steepest seen across the survey’s history so far. New orders have risen continuously since December 2015.
The rate of expansion in total new business outpaced that of new export orders in June, with new business from abroad increasing at a slower pace than in May. That said, the rate of growth remained marked.
Higher workloads led firms in Vietnam to take on extra staff in June. Moreover, the rate of job creation quickened to a new survey record. Record hiring helped firms reduce their backlogs of work fractionally, despite strong new order growth.
Manufacturers also upped their purchasing of inputs sharply in June, with the rate of expansion the third-fastest in the series so far. This helped firms increase their stocks of purchases. Stocks of finished goods decreased as inventories were used to satisfy new orders.
Input costs rose sharply, with the rate of inflation quickening for the third month running. Higher oil prices and shortages of raw materials contributed to increased cost burdens. Supply shortages were also mentioned by those firms that saw delivery times lengthen. Lead times increased for the 17th successive month.
Manufacturers responded to higher input costs by raising their output prices, extending the current sequence of inflation to ten months. Selling prices also increased at the fastest pace since February.
Although easing to a four-month low in June, confidence among manufacturers remained strong. According to respondents, new order growth is set to support increases in output over the coming year.