Last month, the measure ticked up to 47.4.
Any reading below 50 signals contraction in the industry.
Here are key points from Markit:
- Slower falls in output and new orders indicated by latest survey data
- Slight fall in employment as manufacturers choose to not replace leavers amid uncertain outlook
- Modest input price inflation, but output charges cut again
From HSBC economist Ronald Man:
“South Korea’s manufacturing sector remains on track for a gradual recovery. A key drag on business sentiment is high uncertainty over global and domestic conditions. Further signs of economic recovery in key export markets will provide clarity on the economic outlook, which may support manufacturing employment growth. We expect policymakers in Seoul to maintain its easing stance through year-end and into the first half of 2013.”
Earlier this weekend, we learned that South Korean exports jumped 3.9 per cent year-over-year in November.
South Korea’s economy is largely driven by exports, so this report is considered a reliable proxy for the health of the Asian economies, especially China.