China - Hong Kong posts first export drop in 2 years
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 25 October 2011
Hong Kong's exports dropped in September, official data showed Tuesday, the first decline in almost two years as the southern Chinese city feels the impact of a weakening global economy. For the first time since October 2009, the city's shipments declined three per cent year-on-year as shipments, including electronics and clothing, slumped to markets in Asia and elsewhere.
"The main drags came from (mainland China) and the US markets, with the former relapsing to a decline and the latter dipping for the fifth straight month," a government spokesman said in a statement Tuesday. "Exports to the (European Union) and other Asian markets also saw varying degrees of moderation, although those to Taiwan and Thailand continued to see double-digit growth. "The spokesman added that "downside risks to the global economy have continued to increase amid the deepening eurozone sovereign debt crisis and the stalling recovery in the advanced economies. Against this background, Hong Kong's export outlook in the coming months is bleak," he added.
Singapore - S'pore's manufacturing contracts for 4th straight month
Source: Channel News Asia, 01 November 2011
Singapore's manufacturing sector contracted for the fourth straight month in October, with the purchasing managers' index (PMI) standing at 49.5. Production output expanded while input prices reverted to contraction after having expanded over 21 consecutive months.
In the electronics sector, production output expanded but inventory, stockholdings of finished goods and imports continued to contract. Input prices expanded for the 12th time and employment recorded a moderation. SIPMM executive director, Janice Ong, believes the rebound in the electronics PMI could be viewed as a "technical correction", coming after three previous months of contraction. She said the PMI needs to be closely monitored in the months ahead to ascertain whether a rebound for the sector has taken place. She pointed out that order backlogs in the electronics sector reverted to expansion and this could suggest that electronics manufacturers were holding back production due to materials shortages in anticipation of the traditional surge in demand for the year-end festive season.
Asia - Asia's manufacturing activity weak in October
Source: Reuters, 01 November 2011
Manufacturing activity across Asia remained weak in October, surveys showed on Tuesday, as US and European economic woes hit demand for the clothes, shoes and electronic gadgets made in the region. Surveys of purchasing managers in Chinese factories showed activity almost stalled last month, while Taiwan, South Korea and Australia saw manufacturing contract as Europe and the United States tottered on the edge of recession.
Chinese manufacturers, who employ millions of workers and are a key driver of the world's second largest economy, have faced additional pressure from Beijing's tightening monetary policy in a drive to tame inflation.As well as hiking interest rates five times since October last year, leaders have also ramped up the amount of money banks must hold in reserve, effectively restricting the what they can lend, in turn weighing on economic growth. BNP Paribas chief China economist Ken Peng said the slowdown in Chinese manufacturing "has not ended" but there was no need for sharp reversal in government policy at this stage.