Business

Slight boost for PMI

Factory activity rose for the 10th straight month in June, buoyed again by the electronics cluster, which continued to expand, albeit at a slower rate.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) - an early indicator of manufacturing activity - posted a reading of 50.9 last month, a marginal increase from May's 50.8.

A reading above 50 points to growth in the sector.

Although employment in the manufacturing industry fell, the expansionary reading was due to improvements in new orders and exports, inventory and factory output, said the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management, which compiles the PMI.

The employment index recorded a sharper contraction, falling from 49.7 in May to 49.5 in June, a level last seen in November last year.

June's overall PMI reading of 50.9 is also off the high of 51.2 recorded in March.

The electronics cluster's PMI posted a reading of 52.1, down from 52.4 in May.

Also yesterday, a private gauge of China's manufacturing exceeded estimates in June.

The China Caixin manufacturing PMI, which focuses on smaller, private companies, rose to 50.4 from 49.6 in May. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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