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Singapore's April manufacturing PMI contracts further
SINGAPORE'S manufacturing sector contracted for a fifth consecutive month in April, according to the latest purchasing managers' index (PMI).
The barometer of industrial activity registered its lowest reading in over two years in April - 49.4. This was further below the 50-point threshold dividing growth from contraction than March's PMI of 49.6.
The electronics PMI too, fell back into contraction territory after a March reading of 50.1. At 49.1, April's reading was the lowest that the electronics PMI has been since December 2012.
Further declines in new orders, both locally and from abroad, were the main reasons for the overall fall in the PMI, said the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM), which compiles the monthly index by surveying purchasing managers at more than 150 industrial firms.
Production output also sank back into contraction, as inventory, stocks of finished goods and employment continued to fall, SIPMM added.
Manufacturing's performance has been weak so far this year. The latest available data from the Economic Development Board (EDB) shows a 5.5 per cent drop in factory output in March, the sharpest decline in two years.
But the EDB's quarterly business expectations survey, released last week, showed that local manufacturers had turned more optimistic about business prospects in the next six months.