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Feb manufacturing PMI a letdown, points to less room for growth

Observers say downside risks are likely to dampen prospects for manufacturing growth in the later half of this year

Singapore

Prospects for Singapore's manufacturing sector are now more bearish and there is now less room for it to pick up this year, observers say, after latest data showed that the sector has shrunk to its lowest level in more than three years.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing here hit 48.5 last month, a 0.5 drop from January, said the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) in a report released Wednesday.

Readings above 50 show that the sector expanded from the previous month; those below 50 denote a contraction.

The latest figure put the sector in its eighth straight month of contraction in February; it is also the lowest recorded reading since...

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