Businesses see mild improvement in operating conditions in December: Nikkei Singapore PMI

Singapore's private sector enjoyed modest improvement in overall business conditions.
Singapore's private sector enjoyed modest improvement in overall business conditions. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Singapore's private sector enjoyed modest improvement in overall business conditions, a survey from Nikkei and Markit Economics showed on Wednesday (Jan 6).

The headline Nikkei purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for the private sector inched down to 52.1 in December from 52.2 . Still, any reading above 50.0 signals expansion.

The Nikkei Singapore PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to executives in over 400 private sector companies, selected to represent the structure of Singapore's economy, including manufacturing, services, construction and retail.

December data showed output growth was sustained and, despite slowing since November, remained marked.

"However, overall demand conditions appeared relatively muted, with total new work broadly stagnating in December, while new export orders rose at a weaker pace," the report noted.

Costs on firms also rose at the quickest rate in 11 months, said to be driven by faster increases in both purchasing prices and staffing costs.

"Companies only passed on part of their higher cost burdens, however, and raised their selling prices marginally," said the report.

rachaelb@sph.com.sg