SINGAPORE: Singapore's factory activity expanded for the 21st consecutive month in March, but at a slower rate than the month before.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dipped from 50.2 to 50.1, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Monday (Apr 4).
A PMI reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding, while a figure below that threshold points to contraction.
The latest reading was attributed to slower expansion rates in new orders index and factory output index, as well as a faster contraction rate in the inventory index.
However, the new exports index and employment index posted faster expansion rates, said the Institute.
The indexes of imports, input prices, as well as order backlog also posted faster expansion rates. But slower expansion rates were posted by the supplier deliveries index.
"Amid rising cost pressures, the input prices index has recorded the highest reading of 51.9 since October 2013 when the reading was 53.0," said SIPMM.
SIPMM vice president for industry engagement and development Sophia Poh said the overall manufacturing sector has ended the first quarter with growth moderation, amid slowing growth in the electronics sector.
"The continuing Russia-Ukraine conflict has clouded the outlook of the manufacturing sector, with greater concern on the rising energy cost and supply disruptions, coupled with increased inflationary pressures," she said.
The electronics sector PMI in March posted a decrease of 0.1 point from the previous month to record a slower rate of expansion at 50.4, the 20th month of consecutive expansion for the sector.
"The latest sector reading was attributed to a first-time contraction in the factory output index, and a faster contraction in the inventory index," said SIPMM.
However, faster expansion rates were recorded for the indexes of new orders, new exports and employment, it added.
Faster expansion rates were also recorded for the indexes of imports, input prices, and order backlog.
"The supplier deliveries index has reverted to a contraction, and the finished goods index has contracted at a faster rate," said SIPMM.