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Emerging output growth at 7-month high in October-HSBC survey

Wednesday, 6 Nov 2013 | 7:01 PM ET

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Output growth across emerging markets picked up in October, posting the fastest rise in seven months, while business expectations also rose from the previous month's near-record lows, a survey showed on Thursday.

The composite HSBC Emerging Markets index for services and manufacturing rose to 51.7 from 50.7 in September, driven by the strongest rally in Chinese goods exports for 11 months.

HSBC said 15 of the 18 emerging markets covered in its survey had enjoyed an expansion in output, with robust increases in activity in China, Brazil and Russia.

"We have a large number of the countries showing improvements," said Pablo Goldberg, global head of emerging markets research at HSBC in New York.

"There is a better outlook for emerging market trading partners - China, the United States, the euro zone."

The index confirms what purchasing managers surveys (PMIs) worldwide have shown, namely that economic growth is slowly ticking higher.

A separate PMI survey by JPMorgan showed earlier this week that global manufacturing activity had increased at its fastest pace in over two years in October, on a surge in new orders that led factories to take on more staff.

The HSBC survey showed that new business growth across emerging markets rose at the strongest rate in seven months in October, leading to the first employment rise in four months.

The HSBC Emerging Markets Future Output Index, measuring business expectations, also rebounded to a seven-month high.

Chinese manufacturing output increased for the third month running, and at the quickest pace since April, while South Korea ended four months of contraction. Russia saw the strongest output growth in a year while Brazilian output rose at the quickest pace since May.

The strongest performance came in central Europe, where Poland posted a survey-record increase in new export business and Czech goods production rose at the strongest rate in 2-1/2 years. Firms also increased head count at the fastest rate since September 2011, HSBC said.

But the bank warned that emerging markets were not out of the woods yet, especially the so-called fragile five economies with large current account deficits.

Of these countries, HSBC pointed out that Brazil and Indonesia had recorded a modest manufacturing pick-up from a low base, while Turkey and South Africa decelerated and India's output had contracted for a sixth consecutive month.

Goldberg also said there had been a slight decline in new export orders in some economies, such as Russia.

"It will be very important to see a little bit of a pick-up on the exports side."

The HSBC survey collects data from purchasing managers at about 7,500 firms in 16 emerging markets. The index is calculated using data produced by Markit.

Despite the recent gains, the emerging markets index remains well below its long-term trend level of 54.0, HSBC added.

(Reporting by Sujata Rao and Carolyn Cohn; editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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