The Indian manufacturing sector ended the year on a strong note, with operating conditions in December improving at the strongest rate in five years driven by significant increase in new orders, a monthly survey said.
Data compiler IHS Markit said its final purchasing managers' index rose to 58.8 in December from 57.7 in November, hitting the highest level since September 2000. It was also lower compared to the 55.7 reading posted a year earlier.
"Strong business performance was underpinned by the fastest expansions in output and new orders since December 2012 and October 2016 respectively".
Readings above 50 signal an expansion while readings below 50 signal a contraction.
Increased consumer demand also reinforced optimism that output will increase in the next 12 months.
The Caixin survey showed Chinese manufacturers ramped up buying activity at the fastest rate in four months in December to meet higher production needs.
The survey found production and new orders were only slightly lower than in November but at 54 and 53.4 showed steady growth. Analysts widely expect growth to slow further in the final three months of the year, though the full-year growth rate is still likely to exceed the government's target of "around 6.5%", which its set in March.
The Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing PMI said business conditions in the Malaysian manufacturingsector broadly stagnated in December, following an improvement in November.
China's manufacturing sector is expected to continue expanding in 2018 despite the slight decline of an index, said investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC). Companies reported cross-sector increases for raw material, forcing them to raise their average selling prices in order to pass on some of the cost burden to clients.
The Caixin PMI focuses more on light industry, while heavy industry makes up a larger share of the NBS survey.