Factory activity up for 12th straight month

Workers at Panasonic's refrigerator compressor factory located in Bedok, on April 7, 2017.
Workers at Panasonic's refrigerator compressor factory located in Bedok, on April 7, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

The recent strength in the manufacturing sector shows no sign of easing off. The latest reading indicated that factory activity in Singapore rose for the 12th straight month last month, its highest since November 2014, as electronics production powered ahead.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) - an early indicator of manufacturing activity - climbed to 51.8 last month, up 0.8 point from July's reading of 51.

A reading of 50 and above indicates expansion.

Almost all indicators showed signs of improvement. New orders, new exports, factory output and inventory levels all expanded at a faster pace.

The electronics cluster's PMI posted a healthy reading of 53.2 last month, rising by one full point from July's reading of 52.2. This is the highest recorded reading since November 2010.

The brighter data here mirrored that of several regional economies, with Taiwan, Vietnam, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia all posting higher PMI readings last month.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'Factory activity up for 12th straight month'. Print Edition | Subscribe