Singapore: Manufacturing and electronics PMIs plunge in February amid coronavirus outbreak
In February, Singapore’s private-sector business conditions worsened notably due to the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted supply chains and global trade. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), produced by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM), showed that both the manufacturing and electronics sectors contracted at the sharpest pace in several years in the month. However, the deterioration in the indexes was not unexpected.
The manufacturing sector’s PMI fell to the lowest level in four years (February: 48.7; January: 50.3) as new orders; new exports; output; stocks of finished goods; inventories; and employment all suffered from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, the spread and longevity of the viral outbreak remains uncertain and, as such, “manufacturers are increasingly concerned about the extent of this disruption” according to the SIPMM. The coronavirus also left its mark on Singapore’s electronics sector, with its PMI falling to the lowest level in over seven years. The sector’s business conditions worsened on the back of contracting new orders; new exports; output; inventory; and employment.
Looking ahead, the outlook remains mired with downside risks and hinges largely on external developments, such as the Sino-American trade dispute and the evolution of the coronavirus and its disruptive effect on trade and supply chains.