Singapore: Manufacturing and electronics PMIs edge down in April
May 4, 2019
The manufacturing PMI produced by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) ticked down to 50.3 points in April from 50.8 points in March, marking the weakest reading since November 2016. Nevertheless, the index remained above the crucial 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction in Singapore’s manufacturing sector.
The lower print was driven by a broad-based slowdown in the index components: Expansions in new orders, new exports, employment, stocks of finished goods and factory output were softer in April compared to the month prior. On the price front, input prices decreased.
The electronics PMI also decreased (April: 49.5; March: 49.8), marking the sixth consecutive monthly contraction. Soft Chinese import demand and a global slowdown in demand for technology affected the PMI in recent months. That said, Singapore’s merchandise exports to China surged in February and fell at only a moderate pace in March, following several consecutive months of sharp declines. This suggests Chinese demand for Singaporean goods could be recovering, which would provide relief to the manufacturing sector if this trend continues. However, uncertainty over global trade policies will continue to dampen momentum.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist