Asia’s factories squeezed as China’s nascent recovery teeters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees work at the production line of aluminium rolls at a factory in Zouping, Shandong province, China November 23, 2019. Picture taken November 23, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) for factory powerhouses China, Japan and South Korea showed activity shrinking while Vietnam and Malaysia also struggled with the broadening fallout from a Chinese slowdown.

The Chinese survey echoed a downbeat official PMI reading on Tuesday, which also showed an unexpected contraction in activity, casting doubt over recent hopes of a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

“The economy has showed signs of bottoming out, but the foundation of recovery is not solid. Demand is weak, many internal and external uncertainties remain, and expectations are still relatively weak.”

Japan’s factory activity shrank for a fifth straight month in October, the final au Jibun Bank PMI showed. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that China’s weak recovery and the risk of a more protracted property crisis could further dent Asia’s economic prospects.

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