Output growth in emerging markets rises most in 7 months

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 3:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 3:06pm

Output growth across emerging markets picked up last month, posting the fastest rise in seven months, while business expectations also rose from September’s near-record lows, a survey showed on Thursday.

The composite HSBC Emerging Markets Index for services and manufacturing rose to 51.7 from 50.7 in September, driven by the strongest rally in Chinese goods exports for 11 months.

HSBC said 15 of the 18 emerging markets covered in its survey had enjoyed an expansion in output, with robust increases in activity in China, Brazil and Russia.

“We have a large number of the countries showing improvements,” said Pablo Goldberg, global head of emerging markets research at HSBC in New York.

“There is a better outlook for emerging market trading partners – China, the United States, the euro zone.”

The index confirms what purchasing managers index (PMI) surveys worldwide have shown, namely that economic growth is slowly ticking higher.

A separate PMI survey by JPMorgan showed earlier this week that global manufacturing activity had increased last month at its fastest pace in over two years, on a surge in new orders that led factories to take on more staff.

The HSBC survey showed that new business growth across emerging markets rose at the strongest rate in seven months, leading to the first employment rise in four months.

The HSBC Emerging Markets Future Output Index, measuring business expectations, also rebounded to a seven-month high.

It will be very important to see a little bit of a pick-up on the exports side
Pablo Goldberg, HSBC

Chinese manufacturing output increased for the third month running, and at the quickest pace since April, while South Korea ended four months of contraction. Russia had its strongest output growth in a year, while Brazilian output rose at the quickest pace since May.

The strongest performance came in central Europe, where Poland posted a survey-record increase in new export business and Czech goods production rose at the strongest rate in two-and-a-half years.

Firms also increased headcount at the fastest rate since September 2011, HSBC said.

But the bank warned that emerging markets were not out of the woods yet, especially the so-called “fragile five” economies with large current account deficits.

Of these countries, HSBC pointed out that Brazil and Indonesia had recorded a modest manufacturing pick-up from a low base, while Turkey and South Africa decelerated and India’s output had contracted for a sixth consecutive month.

Goldberg also said there had been a slight decline in new export orders in some economies, such as Russia.

“It will be very important to see a little bit of a pick-up on the exports side,” he said.

The HSBC survey collects data from purchasing managers at about 7,500 firms in 16 emerging markets. The index is calculated using data produced by Markit.

Despite the recent gains, the emerging markets index remains well below its long-term trend level of 54, HSBC said.