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Singapore’s factory activity expands for 15th month in September but at slower pace

Singapore’s factory activity expands for 15th month in September but at slower pace

FILE PHOTO: Biochemists check a bio-reactor used for manufacturing medical products at Takeda Pharmaceuticals (Asia Pacific) in Singapore. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory activity in September expanded for the 15th consecutive month, but at a slower rate than the previous month.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in September fell to 50.8 from 50.9, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Monday (Oct 4).

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

“Despite a trend of slowing growth in the non-electronics sector, the overall manufacturing sector has now recorded 15 months of consecutive expansion,” said SIPMM. 

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

The indexes of the finished goods, input prices and supplier deliveries expanded at a faster rate, while the indexes of both the imports and order backlog posted slower expansion rates.

The input prices index at 51.7 is the highest recorded since December 2017, when the index was 51.8, said SIPMM. 

The employment index has expanded for seven continuous months, it added. 

Ms Sophia Poh, SIPMM’s vice president of industry engagement and development, said that the overall manufacturing sector ended the third quarter with slowing growth, while the electronics sector continued to record a faster growth.

“Supply chain disruptions are still plaguing local manufacturers as they struggle to cope with reduced margins from the higher cost pressures,” she added. 

The electronics sector PMI in September posted an increase of 0.2 point from the previous month to record a faster rate of expansion at 51.2. This is the 14th month of expansion for the electronics sector.

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

The indexes of both inventory and employment also expanded, but at a slower rate. The supplier deliveries index reverted to contraction after recording eight months of continuous expansion. 

The finished goods index expanded at a slower pace, while the indexes of imports, input prices and order backlog expanded at a faster pace.

Source: CNA/dv(mi)

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