Emerging market output growth flatlines in September
Employees push a newly-assembled electric car to be exported to South America along a production line at an electric vehicle factory in Zouping county, China (Reuters)

Business output across emerging markets hardly grew in September, according to data from HSBC, pulling down the average output growth-rate for the third quarter to its lowest since early 2009.

The HSBC Emerging Markets Index (EMI), a monthly gauge derived from several purchasing managers surveys (PMI), showed a reading of 50.8 in September, from 50.7 in August. The neutral 50-mark divides expanding activity from contracting business activity.

Output growth, in September, slowed in two of the four largest emerging market economies. China's output growth slowed slightly to 51.2, from 51.8 in August; while Russia's output growth slowed to 51.2 in September, from 51.4 in the preceding month.

Business activity in Brazil made slow progress after two months of contraction. Output crept to 50.7, from 49.7 in August.

However, business activity in India contracted further in September, logging its fastest decline since March, 2009. Output dropped to 46.1, from 47.6 in August.

In addition, output growth expectations fell for the first time since June, data compiled by HSBC revealed. The HSBC Emerging Markets Future Output Index, which tracks business expectations, fell back in September and was only slightly above June's 18-month record low reading.

Expectations moderated in the four largest emerging markets, with China posting the weakest sentiment followed by India, Russia and Brazil.

Manufacturing Summary

The HSBC report also showed that manufacturing output expectations remained brightest in South East Asia, in September.

In addition, manufacturers in emerging European economies were more confident than those in China, India and Brazil.

A solid increase in new orders continued to drive output growth in Poland. Firms expanded workforces at the fastest rate in over six years on the back of rising production.

The manufacturing recovery in the Czech Republic continued in September. Elsewhere, Turkish manufacturers reported sharp increases in output and new order intakes that month, with growth rates accelerating to the quickest since January.

"About half of the EM manufacturing PMIs are back above 50, with three quarters of the countries covered seeing improvements, compared to less than half a month ago," Pablo Goldberg, the Global Head of Emerging Markets Research said in the report.

"CEE recovery is on track. While Turkey surprises to the upside, we expect slowdown from here due to tighter financial conditions" said Murat Ulgen, HSBC's Chief Economist for the CEE and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Emerging Market Slowdown

Emerging Asian economies will remain resilient and log a healthy growth rate over the medium term, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

However, the organisation claims the pace of economic expansion in the region, in the near term, will remain subdued when compared to the pre-financial crisis period.

A slowdown in the emerging markets has weighed heavily on world output, forcing the International Monetary Fund to cut its global economic forecast for the sixth time in under two years.

An earlier report by the World Bank warned that policy makers in developing East Asian economies needed to do more to boost sluggish growth in a region that contributes 40% of the world's GDP growth.