Singapore: Manufacturing PMI continues to weaken in February
The manufacturing PMI produced by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) fell to 50.4 points in February from 50.7 points in January, the lowest reading since December 2016. The index, nevertheless, remained above the crucial 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction in Singapore’s manufacturing sector.
The drop in the index marked the sixth consecutive monthly decline and was driven by a broad-based slowdown in index components. Expansions in new orders, new exports, employment and factory output all lost impetus in February. Meanwhile, the electronics PMI ticked down to 49.5 in February from 49.6 in January, also marking the sixth consecutive monthly decrease.
The U.S.-China trade war and a slowdown in global demand for technology and electronics continue to weigh on the manufacturing sector. Looking ahead, the manufacturing PMI will likely remain subdued until the U.S.-China trade spat is resolved. A de-escalation of the conflict would likely provide a boost to business confidence and Singapore’s external sector.