MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore PMI down 0.4 point to 50.7 in January

The growth of new orders, new exports and factory output slowed down.

The Singapore Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) recorded a further 0.4 point drop from the previous month to a slower expansion at 50.7 in January, according to the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM).

The lower reading was attributed to slower growth recorded in the new orders, new exports, factory output, inventory and employment levels. SIPMM also revealed that January’s numbers, which mark a fifth month of decline, were the lowest recorded reading since December 2016 that saw a reading of 50.6.

“A reading of the Singapore PMI above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding and that the economy is generally declining when the reading falls below 50,” SIPMM explained.

Amidst slower growth readings for indexes of finished goods, imports, input prices and supplier deliveries, the employment index recorded its 17th month of consecutive expansion, SIPMM highlighted.

Meanwhile, the electronics sector PMI recorded a decline of 0.2 points from the previous month to record a third month of contraction at 49.6 in January, data showed. SIPMM blamed the weak reading to the first-time contraction in new orders, new exports and employment, on top of a second decline in factory output.

Lower rates of expansion were also recorded for the indexes of inventory, finished goods, input prices and supplier deliveries. The order backlog index continued to decline for the ninth consecutive month, whilst the electronics imports index posted its second-time contraction.

“Anecdotal evidence, however, suggest that the electronics manufacturers remained cautiously optimistic of improved prospects going forward,” SIPMM noted. 

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