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Singapore's factory activity expands for ninth consecutive month; PMI highest since March 2019

Singapore's factory activity expands for ninth consecutive month; PMI highest since March 2019

File photo of a manufacturing facility in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory activity expanded for the ninth consecutive month, data released on Monday (Apr 5) by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM) showed. 

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) posted an increase of 0.3 points from the previous month to post a faster rate of expansion at 50.8. 

This is the highest reading recorded since March 2019 when the PMI also posted a reading of 50.8. 

A PMI reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding, while a figure below that threshold points to contraction. 

March's reading was attributed to higher expansion rates in the indexes of new orders, new exports, inventory, employment and a slower expansion for the factory output index, said SIPMM.

Higher rates of expansion were recorded for the indexes of imports, input prices and order backlog. A lower rate of expansion was recorded for the finished goods stock index. 

The employment index reverted to a marginal expansion after recording contractions for 13 consecutive months. 

READ: Suez Canal blockage may disrupt supplies to the region: Ong Ye Kung

"Just when manufacturers were looking to a brighter outlook at the start of the year, the supply chain environment is again faced with supply disruptions that were caused by the Suez Canal blockage," said Ms Sophia Poh, vice president of industry engagement and development at SIPMM.

Ms Poh added that although the blockage has been cleared, manufacturers expect the impact to last for several months. 

The Electronics Sector PMI posted a further dip of 0.2 points from the previous month to record a slower expansion at 50.6. 

This is the eighth month of expansion for the electronics sector, said SIPMM. 

The latest electronics sector reading was attributed to slower expansion rates for the indexes of new orders, new exports, factory output, inventory and employment. 

READ: Singapore's manufacturing output up 16.4% in February; 4th straight month of growth

However, higher expansion rates were recorded for the electronics sector in the indexes of finished goods stock, imports, input prices and order backlog. 

The electronics supplier deliveries index continued to record an expansion for the third month, and the electronics order backlog index has recorded expansion for nine consecutive months. 

Source: CNA/lk(rw)

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