Manufacturing sector expanded in easing-COVID-19-restriction countries while contracted in second-wave-affected countries in September

IHS Markit announced September 2020 global manufacturing sector PMI (purchasing managers index) data. The value of 50 indicates no change in the sector compared to the previous month while values above 50 show expansion and values below 50 show contraction in the sector.

Turkey’s manufacturing sector maintained to remain in growth territory in September

In September, we had received the improvement signals in the manufacturing sector with the Real Sector Confidence Index published by the Central Bank and SAMEKS Industrial Sector PMI Index published by MUSIAD.

According to IHS Markit manufacturing sector PMI data prepared in cooperation with ISO, in September 2020;

. The employment growth accelerated as a reflection of the rise in new orders, the sharpest rise in employment was recorded since February 2018,

. Output continued to increase but the pace of growth was weakened,

. Inflation pressures strengthened because of the depreciation of the Turkish lira, the pace of input costs peaked to the levels of October 2018, and output prices recorded the highest rise in last two years,

. Notices from enterprises regarding depreciation of Turkish lira supporting competitiveness in exports markets were amongst relatively positive findings in the survey,

. As a reflection of rises in new orders and production requirements, purchasing activities have been increasing for the last four months.

The improvements in the manufacturing sector in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarters strengthened expectations of a growth in both industrial production and GDP.  

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The growth trend in Eurozone manufacturing sector continued in September

IHS Markit announced flash September Eurozone manufacturing PMI figures on September 23rd. Unlike the previous report, a new finding worth mentioning in the latest report is that the main trigger of the growth in Germany’s manufacturing sector was the increase in exports orders from China, Europe, and Turkey.

While PMI figures of Greece and Ireland recorded 50 in September, Germany’s PMI figure recorded the sharpest increase with the value of 56.4.  Italy with 53.2, Netherland with 52.5, Austria with 51.7, France with 51.2, and Spain with 50.8 pursued Germany.

In general, the decrease in the employment of the Eurozone manufacturing sector weakened.

The changes in input costs varied across the Eurozone. Output prices have been falling for the past fifteen months due to the fierce competition and fragile demand conditions.

The United Kingdom manufacturing sector expanded in September with the PMI figure of 54.1. New export orders increased due to the demand rise from Europe, Asia, and North America. Both input costs and output prices increased in September.

In Asia and Far East, manufacturing sector expanded in easing Covid-19 measures countries while contracted in countries affected by second wave in pandemic

The improvement of the manufacturing sector was triggered by China which succeeded to control the pandemic.  Employment grew the first time in 2020. Purchasing activities and inventories increased. The rise in input costs continued but the pace weakened in output prices.

Due to the second wave in Covid-19 in some countries, manufacturing sectors contracted, purchasing activities fell, and delivery times extended (Indonesia, Myanmar, Russia).

Input costs continued to increase (Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Russia). 

In some countries, the manufacturers continued to offer price reductions to their customers (Japan, Myanmar, Thailand)

Layoffs continued (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam).

Due to the easing in pandemic measures in Russia, output rose but domestic demand remained stagnant while foreign demand fell. Purchasing activities decreased, layoffs speeded, delivery times extended. Because of raw material shortage and price rises from suppliers, the input costs and output prices rose. 

In Kazakhstan, new orders, output, purchasing activities and employment increased with the help of easing in pandemic measures in the country. The rise in input costs was reflected in output prices.

Similarly, in India, both domestic and foreign demand expanded with the help of easing in pandemic measures in the country. Manufacturing sector PMI increased to 56.8 in September. Selling and purchasing activities speeded. Input costs increased due to rise in both aluminum and steel, and thus output prices rose. The downward trend in employment continued to maintain social distance.

In the Philippines, the decrease in output eased down due to the rise in new orders. Although the rise in input costs continued, manufacturers partly increased the output prices due to the improvement in demand. The decrease in employment increased.

In Thailand, the output continued to grow with the support of improvement in domestic demand.

In Vietnam, output, new orders, purchasing activities increased, and layoffs decreased. The exports demand increased for the first time since January 2020. Input costs increased because of raw material shortages, and delivery times extended. The output prices increased for the first time for the last eight months. 

Japan could stabilize weaker demand from Europe and the USA with the support of export demand from China and South-East Asia countries. There was no change in employment in September.  

In the American continent, manufacturing sectors in the US, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia expanded in September, contracted in Mexico

In American continent, the highest expansion in the manufacturing sector was recorded in Brazil with the historical record PMI value of 64.9. Canada with the PMI figure of 56, the US with 53.2, and Colombia with 50.4 pursued Brazil. 

The Mexico manufacturing sector remained in contraction territory with the value of 42.1. 

Demand from the US supported Canada’s manufacturing sector. The US manufacturing sector recorded the strongest improvement since January 2019 while Canada’s performance was strongest since August 2018. 

In summary, J.P.Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose to a 25-month high of 52.3 in September, up from 51.8 in August. The output increased at a slower rate compared to the previous month. The growth in new orders speeded with the support of expansion in new export orders. Exports of consumer, intermediate, and investment goods expanded together for the first time since May 2018. Employment declined at a slower rate. On the price front, input prices inflation increased at a faster rate while output prices inflation rose at the same rate with the previous month.

Fulya Gürbüz, Ph.D.

Signs of mediocre price increases in global manufacturing sector

According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly, exports regarding general trading system increased by 1 billion dollars to 10 billion dollars with respect to the previous month in May 2020. In April, exports fell to 9 billion dollars which are the levels seen during the 08/09 global financial crisis.

The main reason behind the rise of exports in May is the easing in the deterioration particularly in Germany’s manufacturing sector which is the largest exports market of Turkey.  

According to J.P.Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI data, global output continued to decline at a slower rate in May, after record lower levels in April. With two exceptions: China and Kazakhstan. The message from these two exceptions is this: easing in isolation brings a rise in both production and output prices.

There is a risk of second wave in pandemic. In this case, we will see a decline in industrial output again. On the other hand, easing in isolation measures will lead to rise in both production and employment. However, we will start to talk about the inflation pressures if the improvement in the sector continues. Who will get affected the most? Particularly, the lower income household: They were exposed to harsh price increases following appearing the pandemic in Turkey, they will expose to the rise in output prices.

Fulya Gürbüz, Ph.D.