Swiss manufacturing PMI hits highest level since Sept 2018

ZURICH, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Switzerland’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose in December to its highest since September 2018 as exports and robust conditions in Asia helped extend a recovery despite the pandemic, data showed on Monday.

Manufacturing PMI has signalled growth since August after rebounding from a low in April during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It touched a seasonally adjusted 58.0 points in December.

Unlike in spring, supply chains were now running smoothly, while north Asia in particular had got the pandemic under control, Credit Suisse economist Claude Maurer said.

“Swiss industry not only benefits directly from demand out of Asia, but also indirectly, for example as a supplier to the German automotive industry,” he noted.

Credit Suisse compiles PMI data with the Professional Association for Procurement and Supply Management. “While the service sector, which has a greater focus on domestic consumption, is experiencing a slowdown, there is no indication as yet of the kind of slump we saw in spring 2020,” Maurer added.

Reporting by Michael Shields