October's PMI in expansionary territory for eighth straight month

SINGAPORE'S factory output expanded for the eighth straight month in October, in line with a similar pick-up across the region.

In a bright start to the fourth quarter, new data out yesterday showed that the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - a leading indicator of factory output - came in at 51.2 last month. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

The latest reading beat both September's reading and economists' forecasts.

The PMI is compiled monthly by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) from a survey of more than 150 industrial firms.

There were other encouraging signs - the electronics sector expanded for the ninth straight month, posting a PMI reading of 51 last month.

Both new local and export orders also grew at a faster pace last month compared to September.

The index of new factory orders rose to 52.2, from 51 in September. The reading for new export orders was also up, from 51.1 in September to 51.7 last month.

The readings for factory production and employment were also higher than September's.