*Indonesia Markit Manufacturing PMI is lower at 50.7 (February : 51.4) Average 1Q18 PMI: 50.6 (4Q17: 49.9 , 1Q17: 50.1)*
Headline PMI falls to 50.7 in March
Output and new orders both rise at slower
Business confidence hits lowest level since
Notably, latest data signalled
softer expansions in both output and new orders.
Nevertheless, firms increased their staffing levels
again in response to increased new order volumes.
Meanwhile, cost pressures intensified, with input
prices rising to the sharpest extent since October
2015, while output charges rose at a slower pace.
The improvement in operating conditions was
supported by another rise in output during March.
Anecdotal evidence pointed to favourable economic
and demand conditions.
In contrast, new export orders declined for the
fourth consecutive month. There were reports from
panellists that uncompetitive prices weighed on
demand from international markets.
panellists reported that currency weakness relative
to the US dollar continued to contribute to higher
Moreover, the rate of inflation accelerated to
the sharpest since October 2015. Firms generally
passed on higher cost burdens to clients by raising
their output prices in March.
Although manufacturers remained optimistic
towards the 12-month outlook for output, the level
of positive sentiment was the weakest since