Singapore’s economy is recovering steadily from pandemic-related lockdowns, according to a February survey of around 400 factory managers in the wealthy city-state.
Manufacturers reported “substantial growth in output and new order volumes,” according to IHS Markit’s purchasing managers index (PMI), with firms recruiting to try to keep pace with increased demand.
Shreeya Patel, an economist at IHS Markit, said that the February data suggested “a strong improvement across Singapore’s private sector with robust expansions recorded in output and new orders.”
The manufacturing jump comes after Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.8 percent quarter-on-quarter during the final three months of 2020 and after the Trade Ministry reported exports grew 12.8 percent in January.
But lockdowns in key markets in Europe and North America, as well as the collapse of international travel, have slowed Singapore’s revival, contributing to GDP shrinking by a record 5.4 percent overall last year.
Much of the damage was done during an April-June lockdown that saw Singapore’s economy contract by more than 13 percent during the second quarter.
Growth returned later in the year as Singapore largely reopened domestically, with export-oriented electronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical production sectors mostly expanding due to demand driven by the pandemic and lockdowns elsewhere.
Singapore’s small domestic market leaves it economically dependent on trade with and investment from overseas, with the World Bank in 2019 estimating Singapore’s trade-GDP ratio at around 300 percent.
China’s manufacturing activity similar to Singapore’s
China’s factory activity expanded in February at a slower pace than a month earlier, hitting the lowest level since last May and missing market expectations after brief COVID-19-related disruptions earlier in the year.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) fell to 50.6 from 51.3 in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, remaining above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction.
Analysts had expected it to decline to 51.1.
Source: The Star