SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory activity expanded for the third consecutive month, after five months of contraction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September recorded a “faster expansion” at 50.3, up 0.2 point from the previous month, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Friday (Oct 2).
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 latest PMI reading was attributed to first-time expansion in new orders index, and faster rates of expansion in the indexes of new exports and factory output, said SIPMM.
The inventory index, however, recorded a slower rate of expansion.
Despite an improvement in employment reading, the overall employment index recorded contractions for eight consecutive months.
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Similarly, the supplier deliveries index also saw contractions for eight consecutive months.
The indexes of finished goods, input prices and order backlog posted faster rates of expansion, whereas the imports index posted a slower rate of expansion, said SIPMM.
HIGHEST PMI READING FOR ELECTRONICS SECTOR SINCE SEPTEMBER 2018
The electronics sector PMI rose 0.3 points from August to record an expansion at 50.9, the highest recorded reading since September 2018 that saw a reading of 51.4.
The latest expansion reading was attributed to faster rates of expansion for the indexes of new orders, new exports and factory output, according to SIPMM.
The electronics inventory index posted a slower rate of expansion, whereas the electronics employment index posted a slower contraction.
The indexes of finished goods and supplier deliveries posted slower contraction, while the indexes of input prices and order backlog posted slower expansion, SIPMM added.
The latest PMI showed an “upbeat reading”, said SIPMM’s vice president of industry engagement and development Sophia Poh, adding that this augured “well” for the overall manufacturing sector.
“Despite continuous weak employment readings, manufacturers are becoming more optimistic and in anticipation of the next reopening phase for all businesses,” she said.