SINGAPORE - Factories seemed to lose some momentum last month after starting the year on a strong footing.
The Singapore Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dipped in May after reaching a seven-month peak in April.
The monthly gauge of manufacturing activity came in at 50.8 in May, down from 51.1 in April - though it was still above 50 and so remained in expansion mode.
The dip came as as manufacturers reported fewer new domestic and export orders, and lower levels of production and inventory.
The PMI is compiled by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) from a survey of more than 150 industrial firms.
The weaker-than-expected overall PMI reading came amid mixed manufacturing performance across the region last month.
China's official PMI hit a five-month high of 50.8, while figures released by HSBC showed stronger manufacturing activity in Indonesia and India.
But Japan's PMI reading remained flat, while South Korea's slid from 50.2 into contractionary territory at 49.5. Vietnam's gauge also softened from 53.1 to 52.5.