Economy: Singapore firms signalled that overall operating conditions have further improved in July according to the Nikkei Singapore purchasing managers’ index (PMI).
The headline PMI was 51.3 in July, up slightly from 51.1 in June. The reading is a second successive monthly improvement in the health of the private sector. A reading of above 50 signals an improvement in business conditions on the previous month, while readings below 50 show a decline.
According to Markit (who compiles the index) however, the rate of improvement remained modest overall as private sector companies suggested that the development of new products and new marketing strategies had boosted activity over the month.
However, global market conditions dampened sentiments as total new work orders received by the private sector saw a marginal decline in July following a slight increase in June.
The reading also showed signs of improvement for the domestic labour market as the private sector showed willingness to increase staff numbers for the first time in five months. June’s preliminary unemployment rate according to the Ministry of Manpower stood at 2% (+0.2ppt from Mar).
The Nikkei Singapore PMI covers a broader range of companies in the private sector as opposed to the existing PMI compiled by the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM). That PMI reading covers only the manufacturing sector.
SIPMM’s manufacturing PMI slipped back into contractionary territory in July with a reading of 49.7 after expanding in May and Jun.