As per an independent survey, manufacturing activity is said to have expanded at a slower pace in December with growth in new orders and output known to have declined. Even though factories are known to have cut their prices, the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, declined to 53.2 in December in comparison to November’s 54.0 reading. Despite the slowdown, over the past 17 months, manufacturing activity is said to have registered its strongest quarterly performance since late 2012. As per the manufacturing PMI, the sector is said to have ended 2018 on a high, with growth stronger than seen at the start of the year as per Pollyanna De Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit. Companies benefited from rising international demand for goods, as export orders expanded for the fourteenth straight month. Albeit the new orders and output expanded at a slower rate last month, both are known to have been on an expansion spree for over a year now aided by weaker inflationary pressures. The month of December is claimed to have seen the weakest increase in input costs over a three year period, in turn, paving the way for factories to cut prices for the first time since July 2017.



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