Singapore PMI shrinks for 7th month in a row

A worker in a medical clean room environment at a manufacturing plant in Woodlands.
A worker in a medical clean room environment at a manufacturing plant in Woodlands.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The manufacturing recession deepened as production, new orders and employment all fell further last month, fresh data has shown.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - an indicator of manufacturing activity - contracted for a seventh straight month to post a reading of 49.0 in January.

A reading below 50 shows that more purchasing managers reported a deterioration in business than those noting an improvement.

Last month's PMI was slightly lower than December's 49.5 reading.

DBS economist Irvin Seah said: "Although historically manufacturers will front-load their orders ahead of the Lunar New Year, chance is high than this festive season will be a relatively quiet one."

"The cold spell that hit many parts of Asia will likely dampen consumer spending as well as industrial activity. This will have a knock-on impact on Singapore's PMIs within these few months. Get ready for a cold winter."