If you thought Asia's manufacturing giants are just China, South Korea and Thailand, say hello to a new one: Vietnam. Its benchmark purchasing managers' index for manufacturing has expanded -- a reading above 50 -- every month since Aug. 2013, according to HSBC and Markit Economics.
That feat is unmatched by any other Asian country that HSBC and Markit track. By contrast, China's manufacturing PMI has contracted in eight months in that same period. Thailand's manufacturing, as measured by the government, contracted for 22 months through January.