SINGAPORE'S Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) slipped further into contraction mode in August, sinking 0.4 point to 49.3 - although the drop was not unexpected.
Private-sector economists polled by Bloomberg had earlier projected a reading of 49.4, down from July's 49.7.
A reading above 50 denotes growth, while one under 50 points to a contraction in the manufacturing sector.
Said the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM), which compiles the index monthly from a survey of more than 150 manufacturing firms' purchasing managers: "The contraction in the overall PMI was attributed to further contraction in new orders, new export orders, production output as well as input prices.
"Inventory, stockholdings of finished goods and imports continued to expand and recorded lower readings."
The electronics PMI also stayed below the 50-point mark in August, dropping 0.5 point to 49.0 - exactly at the market's forecast.
The electronics readings indicated a further decline in new orders from domestic and overseas markets. "Production output contracted further and inventory reverted to contraction after having moderated in the earlier month," added SIPMM.