Meanwhile, manufacturing new orders continued to rise solidly, with panelists commenting on stronger demand from both domestic and foreign customers, it added.
"Overall, the ASEAN manufacturing sector remained in a subdued state at the start of 2020".
New orders received by construction firms declined slightly in January.
Asian PMIs in January have not signalled problems yet, as data collection took place between 13-23 January, when there was only preliminary information about coronavirus.
While analysts were surprised by the sudden jump in manufacturing PMI, it is for the 30th consecutive month that the manufacturing PMI has remained above the 50-point mark. In general, however, production in China is expected to slow down in the first quarter due to coronavirus, as many companies are suspending production.
At the same time, planned production line expansions contributed to a further increase in payrolls, although the job-creation rate eased compared with December previous year, the survey showed.
Weighing on the headline PMI was a softer rise in new orders, and production growth also slowed.
IHS Markit noted the Philippine factories benefited from faster growth in output and new orders, even as suppliers were affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and worsening traffic conditions.
However, the growth rate of prices for manufactured products was slightly faster.
"Improvements were mostly seen via rising consumer demand and renewed input buying by businesses, suggesting that the reduction in uncertainty following the election has encouraged households and businesses to step up spending". Nevertheless, volumes of outstanding work continued to fall, IHS Markit also said.
Above: IHS Markit graph showing trend in the three UK PMI survey indices. Selling price inflation was recorded for the second month running, with a modest rise in line with that seen in December.
While the official data is directed at the larger businesses and state-owned enterprises, Caixin's survey primarily covers the small and medium-sized enterprises.
Confidence among the goods-producers for the next year outlook for output strengthened to the highest in fourteen month in January.
The PMI aims to gauge the health of the manufacturing industry, with results above 50 indicating expansion and scores below the threshold suggestion contraction.