SINGAPORE'S manufacturing sector continued to fare poorly, with the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) staying in contraction mode for the fifth month in November.
Still, the PMI - a barometer of industrial activity - rose 0.3 point to 49.2, marking a slightly higher-than-expected reading.
Private-sector economists polled by Bloomberg had been expecting the PMI to rise just 0.1 point to 49.0.
A reading above 50 denotes growth, while one under 50 denotes 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 decline in new orders and new export orders."
Production output and inventory continued to contract, although they both showed improvements in readings.
The electronics PMI remained below the 50-point mark in November as well, with a 0.4 point rise to 49.0. This was higher than the market's forecast of 48.8.