The manufacturing sector in Singapore shrank further in March, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI). For a fourth consecutive month, the barometer of industrial activity remained under the 50-point reading that separates growth from contraction.
Last month's reading of 49.6 was also slightly lower than February's 49.7. The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management, which surveys purchasing managers in more than 150 industrial companies to compile the monthly index, attributed this to a further decline in new orders both locally and from abroad.
The sub-index for production returned to expansion territory after contracting in February, but shrinking inventory and stockholdings kept the overall index in contraction.
The electronics PMI signalled that the sector was back in expansion zone with a reading of 50.1, after slipping under 50 to 49.8 in February. But new export orders for electronics continued to contract.