Singapore Feb PMI hits 4-month high on production, inventory

SINGAPORE, March 3 Mon Mar 3, 2014 8:30am EST

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SINGAPORE, March 3 (Reuters) - Singapore's manufacturing activity in February hit a four-month high as production and inventory grew, an industry survey showed on Monday, even though regional economic power houses suffered slower expansions.

The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.9 last month, the highest since October. That compared with 50.5 in January.

The institute's PMI for the electronics sector, however, fell to 51.2 in February from 52.0 in January.

A reading above 50 indicates that manufacturing sector activity is generally expanding, while levels below that point to a contraction.

"The increase in the overall PMI was attributed to expansion in new orders and new export orders as well as production output and inventory," the institute said in a statement.

Subindexes on production and inventory rose. Subindexes on new orders and new export orders eased but remained above the 50-threshold.

In the first quarter, the city-state's economy grew faster than expected helped by a surge in manufacturing output with the industrial sector expected to continue to drive growth in 2014.

China's official manufacturing PMI in February fell to an eight-month low of 50.2, while South Korea's manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in five months.

For more PMI reports from around the world, search [PMI M RTRS] (Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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