Singapore April PMI at 6-month high, but electronics sector growth slows

SINGAPORE Mon May 5, 2014 9:30am EDT

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SINGAPORE May 5 (Reuters) - Singapore's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in six months in April on higher new orders and new export orders, but growth in the electronics sector slowed.

The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.1, the highest since October and up from 50.8 in March.

A reading above 50 indicates that activity is generally expanding, while one below that points to a contraction.

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

The solid number came even as a private survey showed China's manufacturing activity in April contracted for a fourth consecutive month.

However, Singaporean electronics sector's PMI slipped to 50.4 in April from 51.6 in March.

Sub-indices for electronics new orders, new export orders and production all fell.

In March, Singapore's exports fell more than expected as electronics shipments declined.

The city-state's electronics manufacturers have struggled to tap surging demand for smartphones, unlike rivals in South Korea and Taiwan.

Last year, the manufacturing sector made up roughly 19 percent of Singapore's economy, with electronics accounting for 30 percent of total manufacturing activity.

(Reporting by Jongwoo Cheon; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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