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Singaporean manufacturing PMI rebounds in January, electronics PMI drops for second straight month

The Singaporean manufacturing PMI rebounded in the month of January. The index rose by 0.3 points to 53.1, the highest since December 2009. This is the 17th straight month of growth. The rebound was driven by new orders, new exports, output, inventory and orders backlog.

Meanwhile, the electronics PMI dropped for the second consecutive month. The PMI index fell 0.3 points to 52.9, the lowest since July 2017 and implying that the electronics industry momentum had peaked in November 2017 at 53.5.

The divergence between the two PMI figures implies that the momentum in manufacturing had diversified beyond electronics, noted Selena Ling, Head of Treasury Research & Strategy at OCBC Bank. The Business Expectations Surveys witnessed a lower net weighted 1 percent of manufacturers expecting a more positive business outlook for the first half of 2018; however, the electronics cluster was the least positive with a net weighted 10 percent anticipating a less favorable operating environment.

Markedly, 14 percent of electronics companies anticipated a lower output in the first half of this year, mainly from semiconductors, data storage and infocomms & consumer electronics segments. Conversely, the most positive manufacturing cluster was the precision engineering.

“Looking forward, manufacturing is likely to ease from the stellar double-digit growth rates (10.4 percent yoy) seen in 2017 to a more modest 5 percent yoy for 2018. Electronics which had outperformed at +34.6 percent yoy in 2017 should also moderate to a high single-digit growth as well”, added Selena Ling.

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