SINGAPORE - The new year seems to be offering no respite for manufacturers with output likely down again in January after a decline in December.
The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - an early indicator of factory activity - stood at 49.9 last month following the 49.6 reading in December. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
The Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management compliles the monthly index from a survey of more than 150 firms.
January's numbers showed an uptick in new domestic and export orders, production, inventory and imports compared with the previous month.
Electronics PMI came in at 50.5 in January, unchanged from December. The sector contributes about a third of total factory output.
New electronics exports rose, accompanied by gains in production output, stockholdings, inventory and imports.
Factories elsewhere in Asia also started the year on uneven footing.
Readings from Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia were stronger compared with December but China, India and Vietnam showed declines.