Manufacturing powers ahead as PMI indicates 7th straight month of growth

Strong global demand for electronics - in particular, semiconductors - has given Singapore's manufacturing sector a shot in the arm.

The manufacturing sector in Singapore expanded for the seventh straight month in March, with nearly all indicators showing a faster rate of growth, according to data released by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) on Monday (Apr 3).

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – an early indicator of manufacturing activity – came in at 51.2 last month, an increase of 0.3 point from February. A reading above 50 means the manufacturing economy is expanding, while a reading below that indicates a contraction.

All indicators showed a faster rate of growth, except for slower expansion recorded in finished goods and order backlog, SIPMM said.

The institute attributed the increase in manufacturing activity to an increase in new orders and new exports, higher factory output, as well as higher inventory and employment.

“Manufacturing employment continued to remain on the expansion track albeit marginally for the third month, and this could signal employment stabilisation,” it said.

A corresponding index for the electronics sector also posted an expansion, with the PMI for March at 51.8, an increase of 0.4 point from the previous month.

The latest readings indicate that the local manufacturing sector has managed to sustain gradual growth despite uncertainties in the global environment, SIPMM said.


Source: Channel News Asia

3 April 2017

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