Asian factories post mixed outputs as pandemic impact persists
Taiwan and South Korea yielded improved factory performances in January, while China and Japan suffered amid coronavirus resurgence. The mixed factory activities in the Asian region reflect the imbalanced nature of its economic recovery.
Major chip exporters South Korea and Taiwan posted improved factory activity, benefitting from continued sharp demand for semiconductors crucial to work-from-home IT goods. South Korea improved by 11.4%.
Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing activity moved at the slowest pace in seven months in January as it faced decreasing export orders. China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.5in January, its lowest level since June 2020 following a 53.0 reading in December last year. It also missed a 52.7 reading from a median market forecast.
Japan’s final au Jibun Bank PMI decreased to 49.8 in January from the previous month’s 50.0 reading.