Business, Economics and Jobs

Asian manufacturing bounces back in March


Chinese manufacturing rose in March after a downturn early in 2013. The increase in output was, however, slower than economists predicted.


Lam Yik Fei

Chinese manufacturing picked up speed in March signaling a possible recovery after months of slower growth.

The rise was recorded by the Purchasing Managers' Index and the China statistics bureau, which said that China was at an 11-month high in its manufacturing output.

The rise was slower than most economists predicted however.

Rising output was put down to increased activity at car, machinery and electronics plants.

Steel, petrol and coking slowed in March.

“The improvement in the index, which changes the downward trend of the first two months of the year, indicates that the economic outlook in general is stabilizing,” Zhang Liqun, an analyst at the Development Research Center, told the Financial Times.

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Other Asian countries showed similar rises.

In Vietnam, manufacturing increased after a decline in the first months of 2013.

South Korea, however, saw weaker exports raising concerns about the region's economic recovery.

CNN reported that US manufacturing also continued to grow but that expansion was slowed in March compared to other months.