Vietnam’s factory activity continues recovery in October

HANOI (XINHUA) – Vietnamese manufacturing sector saw a continuation of recovery in October with COVID-19 remaining under control, a report compiled by the London-based global information provider IHS Markit revealed yesterday.

The Vietnam Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which measures economic health of the country’s manufacturing sector, posted 51.8 in October, down marginally from 52.2 in September but still signalling an improvement in the health of the sector, said the report.

Improving operating conditions were noted in the consumer and intermediate goods sectors. Anecdotal evidence suggested that success in bringing the COVID-19 outbreak under control in Vietnam had helped lead to a recovery in customer demand.

Greater output requirements encouraged manufacturers to take on extra staff in October. Employment increased for the first time since January, though at only a marginal pace amid ongoing signs of spare capacity.

Firms were generally confident that output will increase over the coming year amid optimism that the virus will remain under control. A number of respondents predicted that new order growth would support rises in production, according to the report.

“The most pleasing aspect of the latest survey was a return to growth of employment for the first time since before the pandemic hit as workloads start to justify rising staffing levels.

“A positive end to the year could set the economy up nicely for a strong recovery to kick in during 2021,” Andrew Harker, economics director at IHS Markit, commented on the survey results.