South Korea Manufacturing Sector Recovers In December

South Korea’s manufacturing sector expanded in December, driven by rebound in output and new orders, survey results from IHS Markit showed Thursday.

The factory Purchasing Managers’ Index rose for the third straight month in December, to reach 50.1, up from 49.4 in November. A score above 50 indicates expansion.

Output increased for the first time in over a year in December. At the same time, new work grew at the fastest pace since September 2018, underpinned by higher external demand.

A better outturn for output and new orders coincided with a strengthening in the business outlook. Further, manufacturers increased their purchasing activity in December at the strongest rate for almost two years.

On the price front, the rate of input price inflation accelerated for the third successive month amid unfavorable exchange rates and increased prices for metals, food and gas.

In response, firms opted to pass through higher expenses to their clients by raising output charges, the first time in which this has been the case for over a year.

Lastly, the most negative news came from employment, which declined to the joint-quickest extent since May 2018.

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