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Singapore’s factory activity expands for 14th month in August but at slower pace

Singapore’s factory activity expands for 14th month in August but at slower pace

An employee makes a final check on a solar panel at a Singapore factory. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory activity in August expanded for the 14th consecutive month, although at a slower rate than the previous month.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in August dipped to 50.9 from 51.0, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Thursday (Sep 2).

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

“The latest PMI reading was attributed to slower expansion rates in the key indexes of new orders, new exports, factory output and inventory,” said the institute.

After contracting for four straight months, the finished goods index returned to an expansion, while the input prices index, which has now grown for 13 continuous months, expanded at a faster rate.

The indexes of imports, supplier deliveries and order backlog posted slower expansion rates and the overall employment index expanded for six months, added SIPMM.

The electronics sector PMI posted a slight increase of 0.2 point from the previous month to post a faster rate of expansion at 51.0.

This is the 13th month of expansion for the electronics sector.

“The latest sector reading was attributed to faster expansion rates for the key indexes of new orders, new exports, factory output and employment,” said SIPMM.

The inventory index also expanded but at a slower rate, whereas the indexes of finished goods, imports and input prices expanded at a faster pace.

Lastly, the indexes of supplier deliveries and order backlog expanded at a slower rate with the order backlog index recording 14 months of continuous expansion.

Ms Sophia Poh, SIPMM’s vice president of industry engagement and development, said the latest set of PMI readings – in particular the electronics sector – “augur well for the Singapore manufacturing growth”.

“However, local manufacturers continue to be concerned about supply chain disruptions arising from possible re-tightening of COVID-19 measures in a region where infections are increasing at an alarming rate and vaccination programmes are slow,” she added.

Source: CNA/dv

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