Malaysia's manufacturing sector records workforce growth

MALAYSIA: Malaysian manufacturers have successfully added to their workforce at the end of the third quarter of 22 (Q32022), resulting in an expansion for the first time in the last 10 months, according to the latest survey by S&P Global Malaysia.

The S&P Global Malaysia Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) survey is a monthly indicator of the health of the Malaysian manufacturing sector. The survey is conducted by S&P Global and measures the level of manufacturing activity in the country.


The rate of job creation in the sector is the biggest since April 2019, said S&P Global.


“The hiring of additional staff was part of efforts by manufacturers to bear down on backlogs of work, and these plans were further helped by a lack of pressure from new order inflows. Outstanding business, therefore, decreased solidly in September, and to the greatest extent in just under two years,” the report said.


Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted S&P Global Manufacturing PMI moved back below 50 for September with a reading of 49.1 compared to August’s 50.3.


S&P explained that the lack of customer demand led companies to cut back on their input purchases, but only slightly.


“Lower purchasing and efforts to limit stock holdings fed through to a reduction in pre-production inventories, and one that was the most marked since August 2021. Stocks of finished goods were also down, with manufacturers often favouring the use of existing inventories to meet new order requirements rather than expanding production,” it said.


According to Andrew Harker, S&P Global’s market intelligence economics director, there were further signs in September that the rebound growth in the Malaysian economy seen earlier in the year could be losing steam.


“That said, the latest PMI data are still indicative of growth in official data across Q3, 2022. The main positive from the latest survey was a renewed expansion in employment, helping firms to keep on top of workloads and setting a base to expand output in the future should demand start to regain momentum,” Harker added.

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