SINGAPORE: Singapore's manufacturing sector expanded again in November to record its highest reading in nearly eight years.
The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - an early indicator of manufacturing activity - came in at 52.9, an increase of 0.3 from the previous month, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Monday (Dec 4).
This is the highest level since December 2009 and the 15th month of consecutive expansion, said SIPMM. This comes after the index's previous eight-year high recorded for October.
A PMI reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates that it is generally declining.
The institute attributed the increase in manufacturing activity to a faster rate of expansion in most key indicators, apart from a contraction in supplier deliveries.
The employment index for the manufacturing sectors recorded consecutive expansion for the third month, which "further indicates the robustness of the manufacturing sectors", the institute added.
"The latest PMI readings suggest a continuing growth of the manufacturing sectors into the next year," it said.
A corresponding index for the electronics sector also recorded an expansion, with the electronics sector PMI for November at 53.5, a 0.2 point increase from the previous month.
This was the sector's 16th month of consecutive expansion, on the back of a faster rate of expansion in key indicators of the sector, except for a slower rate of expansion in electronics output.
Most indicators recorded a faster rate of expansion except for electronics supplier deliveries which recorded a further contraction, said SIPMM.
"Anecdotal evidences of the survey suggest that most electronics manufacturers are more optimistic of continued growth of their businesses into the next year," it added.