Vietnam's manufacturing output returns to growth in December

Vietnam's manufacturing sector ended 2020 in growth as business conditions improved with the increase of output, new orders and employment, a report compiled by the London-based global information provider IHS Markit revealed Monday.

The Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in December, up from 49.9 in November, showing a modest improvement in business conditions in Vietnam's manufacturing sector, according to the report.

Data also signaled a return to growth of manufacturing output as production volumes recovered from the storm-related disruption in the previous month. New order growth was central to the expansion in production.

The higher number of new orders was central to the expansion in production, as it led to increased production requirements and encouraged firms to expand their staffing levels.

Manufacturers remained confident that output would increase in 2021, with respondents expecting less disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Firms are confident looking ahead to the new year, with hopes that export demand, in particular, will recover should the COVID-19 pandemic be brought under control worldwide," Andrew Harker, economics director at IHS Markit, commented on the survey results, adding that severe supply-chain disruption, which is often linked to the pandemic, appeared to be the main issue hampering growth at present.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates an expansion of the manufacturing sector compared to the previous month; below 50 represents a contraction; while 50 indicates no change.

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