PETALING JAYA: The outlook for home manufacturing exercise stays optimistic, however with heightened dangers worldwide, the sector might probably face short-term blips over the approaching months.
From China’s “zero-Covid coverage” to the Russia-Ukraine battle and home provide chain points, the Malaysian manufacturing sector is constrained when it comes to manufacturing and new orders.
In March 2022, the home manufacturing sector suffered a contraction because the buying managers’ index (PMI) for Malaysia fell to 49.6 from 50.9 in February.
Malaysian producers’ sentiment on future output additionally waned to the softest stage since October final yr.
Talking with StarBiz, Malaysia College of Science and Know-how (MUST) economics professor Dr Geoffrey Williams famous that the nation’s PMI in January and February had been barely above 50, earlier than slipping beneath 50 in March.
A PMI studying of above 50 represents an growth in comparison with the earlier month, whereas a studying beneath 50 represents a contraction.
Williams mentioned that the weak PMI figures recommended an underlying weak point within the restoration as a result of structural harm attributable to the lockdowns and the knock-on results in provide restrictions.
“There’s uncertainty as a result of excessive oil costs, the Ukraine-Russia battle and the potential of counter-inflation insurance policies within the developed nations.
“There’s additionally a listing impact of restocking which causes an preliminary rebound, however then adopted by a moderation in demand and so provide.
“So, the outlook is unsure and we might see additional declines (in PMI) if the uncertainty persists,” he mentioned.
Wanting forward, Williams expects Malaysia’s financial restoration to be slower than official forecasts.
Whereas the headline unemployment might fall, he thinks there’s a important underlying structural underemployment and strain on wages and salaries.
“It will take a very long time to resolve,” he added.
In a be aware revealed yesterday, TA Analysis famous that Malaysia’s PMI barely eased within the first quarter of 2022 (Q1’22), in comparison with the ultimate three months of 2021.
It’s because the typical efficiency over the ultimate quarter of final yr was the strongest quarterly efficiency for the reason that PMI survey started in 2012, with 52.4 factors.
Nonetheless, the analysis home expects manufacturing exercise to assist the general economic system in Q1’22.
“Wanting on the historic affiliation between the official figures and the PMI, the most recent studying signifies that industrial output and gross home product (GDP) will proceed to rise within the first quarter of the yr.
“The common PMI for Q1’22 stood at 50.3.
“Evaluating the manufacturing PMI with actual GDP progress charges exhibits a fairly excessive correlation of greater than 60%, with the PMI appearing as a coincident indicator of financial progress,” it mentioned.
Regardless of the optimistic outlook, TA Analysis has projected Malaysia’s manufacturing GDP within the January to March 2022 interval to average from This autumn’21’s progress of 9.1% year-on-year (yoy), to about 7% yoy.
Commenting on the area’s PMI efficiency, TA Analysis mentioned the Asean manufacturing sector remained in growth territory, regardless of easing from the earlier month.
“The headline manufacturing PMI dropped to a six-month low in March, moderating to 51.7 from February’s 52.5.
“5 of the Asean nations’ manufacturing sectors recorded above 50-threshold in the course of the month,” it identified.
MIDF Analysis, in its financial temporary, mentioned a number of Asian economies akin to Malaysia and Thailand skilled a trivial drop within the manufacturing PMI, following the manufacturing slowdown in China on account of the nation’s “zero-Covid coverage”.
It additionally famous that the worldwide manufacturing PMI skilled a slight slowdown in March 2022, amid souring commodity costs and tight provide chain pressures.
“On the skyrocketing vitality costs, we consider it will profit the Malaysian economic system, particularly the mining sector.
“On the flip aspect, the costs and China’s slowdown will add strain on manufacturing and downstream segments of the first sectors,” it mentioned.
MIDF Analysis additionally mentioned it remained optimistic on the outlook as Malaysia’s manufacturing sector and exports of products are anticipated to stay expansionary.
The manufacturing sector is forecast to develop by 2.1% in 2022, whereas exports are anticipated to increase by 7.8%.
In the meantime, Kenanga Analysis cautioned that heightened draw back dangers might undermine progress restoration in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector, as they result in extended world provide chain disruptions.
“This will trigger strain on costs and delays in supply, subsequently limiting manufacturing output.
“Nonetheless, the manufacturing sector might proceed to search out assist from the gradual choose up in home demand, because of the sizeable authorities fiscal expenditure, financial and monetary measures, the lifting of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and the borders reopening amid the excessive vaccination fee.
“In opposition to this backdrop, we’ve revised our 2022 GDP progress forecast to five% to five.5% from the preliminary estimate of 5.5% to six% (2021: 3.1%),” the analysis home mentioned.
The official steering, then again, is a progress of 5.3% to six.3% in 2022.