India manufacturing activity outperforms Asian economies as demand picks up

India’s manufacturing activity remained relatively strong in September, outperforming other Asian economies, as businesses picked up new clients in key overseas markets.

While the purchasing managers’ index moderated to 57.5 from 58.6 in August, it remained firmly above its long-run average of 53.9, signaling “a sharp rate of expansion,” S&P Global said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Both demand and output saw significant upticks, and firms also noted gains in new business from clients across Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East,” Pollyanna De Lima, an economics associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said in the statement.

India’s manufacturing PMI last month was a contrast to the rest of Asia, where factory growth remained subdued because of slowing global demand. PMIs in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Malaysia are below 50, which indicates a contraction in activity.

The Philippines and Indonesia are still in the expansion zone, but not as strong as in India.

Despite a mild slowdown in India’s activity in the month, “a sharp rise in new orders underpinned sustained expansions in output, input purchasing and employment,” S&P said. Supply-chain conditions were broadly stable, helping to bring down input price inflation to its weakest in over three years, it said.

Factory gate prices climbed due to rising wages, upbeat business confidence, and buoyant demand, S&P said, a sign of price pressures in the economy.

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