The manufacturing sector in South Korea continued to expand in March, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from S&P Global showed on Friday with a manufacturing PMI score of 51.2.
That’s down from 53.8 in February although it remains above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
March data pointed to a renewed decrease in manufacturing output. The contraction was the first for three months yet was only marginal overall. Firms commonly associated lower output with rising raw material prices which made input procurement increasingly difficult. South Korean manufacturers signaled that incoming orders broadly stagnated in March.
Despite rising for the eighteenth month running, the rate of increase was the joint-softest in the sequence as demand was affected by rising prices and supply issues. Rising geopolitical tensions hindered both total new order inflows as well as export orders, with the latter falling at the fastest pace since July 2020.