Singapore manufacturing PMI rises in Jan after string of contractions

Mon Feb 4, 2013 8:30am EST

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SINGAPORE, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Helped by increased orders for
electronics, manufacturing activity in Singapore rose in January
after contracting for six consecutive months, according to an
industry survey that showed the city state joining in a recovery
in manufacturing globally.
    The positive Singapore reading followed surveys published
over the weekend that showed U.S. manufacturing growth quickened
in January, while Chinese factories extended a modest rebound.
 
    Singapore's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.2
points last month from 48.6 points in December, crossing the key
50-point level that separates expansion from contraction on a
month-to-month basis, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing &
Materials Management (SIPMM) said on Monday.
    "The increase in the overall PMI was attributed to a
first-time expansion in new orders and new export orders," the
institute said in a statement.
    Inventories rose for a fourth consecutive month while input
prices rose for the second month, SIPMM added.
    A separate PMI for Singapore's electronics sector also
improved, rising to 49.9 points from 46.6 points in December.
Both the sub-indexes for new orders and new export orders for
electronics turned positive in January.    
    Singapore, whose trade is around three times GDP, has been
badly hit by the weakness in Western economies that has crimped
demand for many of its exports. 
    Its electronics manufacturers have also not been as
successful in tapping surging demand for smartphones, unlike
rivals in South Korea and Taiwan, although investments in the
sector remained healthy, according to data from the city-state's
Economic Development Board last week. 
 
    SINGAPORE OVERALL PMI  
Jan  Dec  Nov  Oct  Sep  Aug  Jul  Jun  May  Apr  Mar  Feb
50.2 48.6 48.8 48.3 48.7 49.1 49.8 50.4 50.4 49.7 50.2 50.4
             
    Electronics Index  
49.9 46.6 47.4 47.5 50.0 50.7 49.2 50.4 50.8 51.5 51.5 51.0  
 
    New Export Orders Index
50.7 47.4 48.5 48.0 49.4 50.4 50.2 51.1 50.8 51.3 51.0 50.5
        
    CONTEXT:
    - Singapore's PMI is produced ahead of government data on
manufacturing and exports.
    - Economists say the PMI does not appear to track activity
at pharmaceutical companies, which make up Singapore's
fastest-growing manufacturing sector.
    - For more PMI reports from around the world, see 
 

 (Reporting by Kevin Lim: Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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