CHART: There are signs of life in Asia's manufacturing sector

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

While it’s far too early to say it’s the start of a longer trend, Asia’s manufacturing sector is looking a lot better than it was just a few months ago.

The chart below shows how each major Asian nation fared following the the raft of manufacturing purchasing manager’s indices (PMI) released earlier today, comparing the results in March and February.

In a rare event, each nation saw its PMI reading remain steady or move higher.

While Australia will welcome the huge boost seen in March, for the rest of the world the improvement in China’s manufacturing sector is a welcome development, particularly given it had contracted in the seven months prior.

Although not all surveys are uniform in nature, the basic premise is the same: a reading above 50 points to an expansion in activity levels while a print below 50 signals that they’re contracting.

While not earth shattering in terms of strength, aside from Australia, things are looking better nonetheless.

They key now is whether the improvement can last.

* India’s PMI report for March will be released on Monday, April 5. The figures in the chart above compare February’s results to January 2016.

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