Growth of South Korean manufacturing output lost momentum in May, slipping to the weakest in the current four-month period of expansion. New order growth held up relatively well in comparison, with the latest increase only slightly weaker than in April. Meanwhile, goods producers added to their staff numbers on average, although the rate of job creation remained marginal. On the price front, output charges decreased to the greatest extent in more than three years, while input cost inflation eased to a marginal rate.
After adjusting for seasonal factors, the HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index™ (PMI™) – a composite indicator designed to give a single-figure snapshot of operating conditions in the manufacturing economy – posted 51.0 in May, signalling a fourth successive month of improving operating conditions. However, the index lost ground for the second successive month, and was below the long-run average for the series of 51.3.
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