SINGAPORE - Singapore's manufacturing sector expanded for a second consecutive month in March, signalling the worst may be over as new export orders and production edged higher, the city-state's latest Purchasing Manager's Index showed.
The PMI stood at 50.2 points in March, slightly below February's 50.4 but still above the key 50-point level that shows an increase in activity, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM) said on Tuesday.
A separate PMI for Singapore's important electronics sector rose to 51.5 in March from 51.0 in February due to further expansion in new orders from overseas and domestic markets, SIPMM said.
The PMI for electronics has now been in positive territory for three straight months.
Asia's factories have been hit by weak demand in the West, particularly from Europe, although there are signs things are beginning to turn around.
The US Institute for Supply Management said on Monday its index of factory activity rose to 53.4 from 52.4, topping economists' expectations. Factory activity also strengthened in leading Asian exporters China, South Korea and Taiwan, although output was still far from robust.