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02 August 2017, 12:48 | Melanie Burgess
Philippine manufacturers-apparently affected by the martial-law declaration and contraction in overseas demand-showed less optimism to grow their business in July based on the country's latest Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) that fell to its lowest level since January, Nikkei and worldwide think tank IHS Markit reported.
China's manufacturing activity increased last month as both production and new order rates grew rapidly, independent figures showed Tuesday, but analysts warned the economy still faces headwinds from policy tightening. There was better news from the survey's price indicators, with reduced cost inflationary pressures leading output price inflation to wane.
Input price inflation continued its recent descent from February's survey high during July, falling for a fifth successive month to the lowest recorded by the survey since last October. Inventories of finished goods have dropped in each month since January 2015, with July's contraction marked and similar to June. The 50 point marks divides expansion from contraction. The PMI exceeded the consensus forecast of 54.4 in a Reuters poll of economists. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.
The survey's headline PMI rose to 51.1 from 50.4 in June, indicating that activity levels strengthened modestly in July.
Not for the first time, China watchers got conflicting signals this week on the state of the world's second-largest economy: Two gauges of factory activity pointed in opposite directions, clouding whether the manufacturing sector is cycling up or down.
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The Caixin-IHS Markit survey was broadly in line with the government's official manufacturing PMI index for July which came in at 51.4 in July.
The reading for the manufacturing industry had previously fallen from its April high to reach 54.2 in June.
China's manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in July, according to a closely-watched survey of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, said the third quarter of 2017 gave manufacturers "a solid footing": "UK manufacturing started the third quarter on a solid footing". Markit said that companies were discouraged by the lower demand during the introduction of the GST, which in turn affected factory output and ended six consecutive months of PMI growth.
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