Manufacturing activity in Asia slumped again in October as conflict in the Middle East drove oil prices higher, costs rose and global demand remained under pressure.
Most countries across the region reported pressures from cost inflation, shrinking output and new orders, according to manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes published Wednesday by S&P Global and au Jibun Bank. A private gauge of factory activity in China unexpectedly contracted, underlining fragility within the world’s second-largest economy.
The data are a discouraging sign for the global economy, which has seen its bid for recovery threatened by uncertainty over the Israel-Hamas war and the prospect of wider conflict in the region. Asia — which makes much of the world’s goods — has struggled to ramp up production this year amid patchy demand from major markets including the U.S. and Europe.