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Singapore's manufacturing PMI improves to 49.5 in December but sector ends H2 2015 in contraction

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Singapore's manufacturing sector has been contracting in the second half of 2015.

SINGAPORE'S manufacturing sector has been contracting in the second half of 2015.

Even though it logged a fourth straight month of better performance in December, with the sector's purchasing managers' index (PMI) inching up 0.3 from November's reading to end the year at 49.5, the sector has been contracting since July.

An overall reading above 50 signals expansion; and below 50, contraction.

The last time that it expanded was in June last year, when the reading was at 50.4.

The sector turned for the worse, but started to head back towards 50 starting in September.

These results were released in Monday's PMI data by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM).

Said 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 as well as production output."

The electronics sector's PMI, also released by SIPMM, saw its December reading move down 0.1 from November to reach 48.9.

It has also been contracting in the later half of the year, with the last expansionary reading at 50.3.