The manufacturing sector in Malaysia moved back into expansion territory in April, the latest survey from S&P Global showed on Thursday with a PMI score of 51.6.
That’s up from 49.6 in March, and it moves above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
Although output levels remained subdued, incoming orders recovered strongly to register the sharpest rise since April 2014 amid improved client confidence. Despite the rise in demand, manufacturers continued to scale down workforce numbers as international border restrictions hampered the ability of firms to hire from abroad. As a result, the rate of job losses quickened.
Businesses also noted concern that sustained price and supply pressures had hampered operations, with material shortages and delivery delays widespread. This played on firms’ expectations regarding future output, which fell to the lowest since last August.