Manufacturing surveys throughout Asia show the region reacting to economic slowdowns in key markets of Europe and the United States.
The Purchasing Manager's Index, which measures manufacturing business activity, rose in Taiwan in December from 43.7 to 47.1. But the rise did not reach the break-even point of 50, which means activity was still in contraction during the month, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
In South Korea, the PMI fell to 46.4 in December from November's 47.1. And in China, the official government PMI came in at 50.3 while a private report put out by HSBC put the figure for the month at 48.7.
India's PMI indicated business was still growing. The PMI tracked by HSBC rose from 51 to 54.2.
Despite the strong PMI performance in India, the Reserve Bank of India has indicated it could ease monetary policy soon to stimulate the economy.
But HSBC chief economist for India Lief Eskesen told the newspaper, "These numbers suggest it's premature for the RBI to replace inflation with growth as the main concern."