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South Korea saw a surprise expansion in factory activity in April as S&P Global Manufacturing PMI rose above expectations. According to the latest index, South Korea’s manufacturing PMI improved to 48.1 in April, up from 47.5 in March. This marks the first increase since February and marks the first expansion of factory activity since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The increase in manufacturing activity is a positive sign for the South Korean economy, as factory activity has been sluggish since the pandemic began. The uptick in April was driven largely by a recovery in export orders, which rose at the fastest pace since October 2019, as overseas demand returned. The latest figures also showed that new order volumes rose for the first time since last November, while input costs strengthened as input prices and wages rose.
The increase in manufacturing activity is a welcome relief for South Korea, as the country continues to battle new waves of coronavirus infections. With the latest figures, it appears that the manufacturing sector is slowly recovering from the pandemic, which should bode well for the South Korean economy going forward. While the manufacturing PMI remains below the long-term average of 52.9, it is well above the contraction of 39.7 registered in March, which suggests that the manufacturing sector is stabilizing.
Overall, the latest S&P Global Manufacturing PMI for South Korea is a positive sign for the economy, indicating that the manufacturing sector is recovering slowly but surely. Although the index remains below its long-term average, it is well above the contraction of March, which suggests that the manufacturing sector is regaining some momentum. As the global economy continues to reopen, South Korea should continue to experience modest growth in the manufacturing sector, which should contribute to the recovery of the overall economy.