Singapore's manufacturing sector showed signs of improvement in August, as key indicators such as new orders and new exports contracted at a slower pace, and factory output turned positive, according to the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM).
The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the city-state increased to 49.9 in August, up from 49.8 in July, although it remained slightly below the threshold of 50 that separates expansion from contraction. This marks the sixth consecutive month of contractionary territory for the PMI, which last hit the neutral 50 mark in February and has been steadily rising since May.
Stephen Poh, the executive director of SIPMM, noted that the improved PMI readings in recent months suggest that the manufacturing sector may be on the path to recovery despite the uncertain macroeconomic and geopolitical environment.
"The August PMI readings pointed to a silver lining in the overall manufacturing sector," Poh said. He also highlighted that this trend of slower contraction has been emerging since May.
The PMI for the electronics sector, which represents about a third of Singapore's manufacturing industry, improved to 49.5 in August, up from 49.3 in July, according to SIPMM. However, this marks the 13th consecutive month of contraction for the electronics sector.
Overall, these latest figures indicate that Singapore's manufacturing activity is showing some positive signs, with hopes for further improvement in the near future.