MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

New export work prompts private firms to raise purchasing activity

Singapore PMI was at 52.8 in November.

Singapore's private sector has seen robust growth in output and new orders, signalling an improvement in the overall health of the sector. According to IHS Markit Nikkei Singapore PMI, the index rose to 52.8 in November, up from 50.5 in October. The index has seen its seventh month of expansion in the past month.

IHS Markit economist Bernard Aw said client demand led to another rise in output, as new orders registered a quickened rate of growth from the previous month and extended the current period of output expansion to just over four years.

The index noted that further increases in output and new work prompted companies to raise their staffing levels and increase purchasing activity. 

“Business conditions across Singapore’s private sector improved at a quicker rate in November, as companies reported stronger expansions in both output and new orders. At the same time, further growth in new export work helped to lift overall sales, though the rate at which new business from abroad increased softened since October," he said.

The economist noted that this improvement prompted companies to raise their staffing levels and increase purchasing activity.

“Stronger growth in output led to renewed increases in employment and purchasing activity. That said, the expansion in payroll numbers was attributed by some firms to more part-time employees," Aw said.

However, he argues that this could cas doubts on the strength of the revival in staff growth in the coming months. 

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