MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Consumer services take lead in Asia's year-end sector PMI

15 out of 19 categories were in expansion territory in December.

Business activity rose across 15 of 19 sectors in Asia which was led by the consumer services sector which hit 55 in the latest reading of the Asia PMI, according to IHS Markit. 

The Nikkei Asia Sector PMI is an indicator of economic health as it gauges business conditions across various sectors.

Despite a slight decline from the prior month’s reading amidst slower rates of output growth, automobiles and auto parts posted a still positive record of around 54 in the index. 

Business activity in the insurance sector also picked up at the fastest pace in 25 months following a dismal growth rate in November.

Slight growth was also registered in chemicals, technology equipment and construction materials, companies operating in the household & personal use products, transportation, beverages & food sectors.

The sectors with diminished business activity include banks, metals & mining, real estate and healthcare services. 

The strongest contraction was recorded in the healthcare sector as its latest downturn represented the steepest decline since November 2016.

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