SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s factory activity shrank in August but at a slower pace than in July, a private sector survey showed on Monday, as global trade frictions and an escalating diplomatic dispute with Japan hit demand for the country’s products.
The headline Nikkei/Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 49.0, from 47.3 in July, but remained below the 50-point level that separates contraction from growth for a fourth straight month. The majority of sub-indexes also continued to decline, but at a slow pace.
Sub-index - Export - Orders - July - Decline
The sub-index for new export orders rose to 48.6 from 45.5 in July, the slowest decline seen since April, but the 13th straight month of contraction. Survey respondents reported cooling demand from Germany, China, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia.
Total new orders also shrank for a 10th successive month, due to reduced demand for goods both at home and abroad.
Firms - Electronics - Industry - Products - Cut
Though some firms in the electronics industry launched new products, those failed to offset the cut back from elsewhere, extending the contraction for a 10th month.
“While the pick-up in the headline index suggests that pressures on South Korean manufacturers have abated to an extent, underlying data still...
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