SINGAPORE'S manufacturing sector shrank for a second straight month in January, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI).
The barometer of industrial activity posted a slightly higher reading of 49.9, up from 49.6 in December. But this was still shy of the 50-point threshold that divides readings pointing to growth from those indicating contraction.
The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management attributed the contractionary reading to a further fall in both new orders and inventory. But new export orders continued to expand and the output sub-index also showed a return to growth.
The electronics PMI stayed flat at 50.5, the same reading as in December, indicating that the key segment kept up its pace of expansion.