The Indian manufacturing sector ended the year on a strong note, with operating conditions in December improving at the strongest rate in five years driven by significant increase in new orders, a monthly survey said.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) released on Sunday dipped to 51.6 in December, down from 51.8 in November and in line with forecasts from economists in a Reuters poll.
Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said "The Vietnamese manufacturing sector recorded a welcome return to growth of output in December, supported by a solid and accelerated increase in new orders".
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
The moderate decline in headline PMI was mainly attributable to the lower inventory, while production growth remained solid despite the "unfavorable working day effect", as there were two fewer working days in December 2017 compared with previous year, said a CICC research report.
Business owners getting ready for minimum wage increase
The hikes are part of a plan to gradually increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour. Under the new law, no locality could have a wage floor higher than the one mandated by the state.
PMI for the high-tech sector picked up further to 53.8 in December from 53.2 in November, NBS data showed.
The Caixin survey showed Chinese manufacturers ramped up buying activity at the fastest rate in four months in December to meet higher production needs. The modest increase in output in December followed broadly unchanged production volumes in November. It was the first slowdown in growth since early 2016.
"Overall, 2017's economic performance continues to be steady and good, establishing a generally good foundation for 2018", the federation said.
The World Bank expects the government's policy tightening to slow annual economic growth to 6.4% next year and 6.3% in 2019.
Turning to margins, the report from Investec found that input costs rose at their fastest pace in nine months, with higher raw material costs widely mentioned by panellists.