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Singapore manufacturing contracts for 11th month with May's PMI at 49.8

Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 21:02
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CONDITIONS in Singapore's manufacturing sector worsened for the 11th straight month in May, with its headline purchasing managers' index (PMI) coming in at 49.8.

CONDITIONS in Singapore's manufacturing sector worsened for the 11th straight month in May, with its headline purchasing managers' index (PMI) coming in at 49.8.

A reading above 50 signals expanding activity from the previous month, while anything below indicates contraction.

May's reading was unchanged from April's number as sub-indicators presented mixed results, said Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management, which compiles the data, in a release on Thursday. It also did not deviate far from expectations. Economists polled by Bloomberg earlier put May's PMI at 49.7.

The production index in May posted a marginal expansion reading for the first time, after 10 months of contraction. It was at 50.1 in May, 0.2 higher than in April.

However, new orders and new export orders continued to fall in May. New orders was at 49.7, down 0.1 from April. New export orders was at 49.4, a drop of 0.2 from April.

Meanwhile, the electronics PMI slipped 0.4 point to 49.1 in May, with all sub-gauges mostly lower across the board. The exception was the finished goods index, which rose by 0.5 to 50.8.

"On balance, it is likely that the stabilisation in the overall manufacturing PMI is due to the non-electronics industries, possibly the biomedical and pharmaceuticals clusters, and the near-term outlook for the manufacturing sector will likely remain soft going into the third quarter of 2016," said Selena Ling, economist at OCBC.

The economy-wide Nikkei Singapore PMI for May, compiled by information services provider Markit, will be out on Friday at 11am. It captures economic activity across different sectors, including manufacturing, services, retail and transportation. Each sector is weighted for its contribution to gross domestic product.