Vietnam manufacturing index inches up

By Dat Nguyen   March 2, 2021 | 07:20 pm GMT+7
Vietnam manufacturing index inches up
An employee operates an agar manufacturing machine in the northern province of Bac Giang. Photo by Shutterstock/Bamboovn.
The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) edged up 0.3 points to 51.6 in February, signaling a modest improvement in business conditions.

The index, which represents an improvement from the previous month if it rises above 50, has now strengthened for three successive months, according to a note by market research company IHS Markit.

There has been sustained growth in new orders for six straight months amid signs of improving international demand, the report said.

Employment increased for the second time in three months as firms responded to rises in demand and production requirements, it added.

Factories in some provinces like Binh Duong and Dong Nai in the south and Bac Giang in the north are struggling as they need thousands of new workers following a surge in new orders.

Yet IHS Markit’s data showed that business confidence continued to wane in February, the third straight month it fell and at the lowest level since last August, after 865 new Covid-19 cases were found following the latest outbreak on January 28.

"Renewed increases in output, employment and purchasing activity are all welcome signs, but a recent increase in Covid-19 cases sounds a note of caution," Andrew Harker, the company’s economics director, said.

Vietnam has in the past proved successful in quickly containing the virus, and if this success is repeated the manufacturing sector would remain in growth territory, he added.

IHS Markit forecasts a rise in industrial production of 6.8 percent this year.

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