As much a part of the modern global economy as any other nation in the world (and some would even say a cornerstone as far as business innovation and government friendliness towards business is concerned), it’s nice to see that the manufacturing base in Singapore has improved dramatically in the early quarter of 2016.
Though Singapore has made great leaps forward to try and modernize their workforce, to focus on developing new technology and new innovations that allow people to pursue careers and business opportunities in the “knowledge worker” industries, manufacturing is still a critical backbone of every national economy.
Singapore has been dealing with a little bit of contraction as far as national manufacturing is concerned, which is why its growth in March has been so well received!
New PMI shows a 0.9 increase in 30 days
As we mentioned above, the Singapore economy (at least as far as manufacturing is concerned) has been contracting a bit as of late – receding down to 48.5 Purchasing Managers Index, representing a new low point and a downward trend that had been continuing for nine straight months. However, the new research published regarding the PMI in March shows a 49.4 – the 0.9 increase that we had mentioned above.
Even though a reading that hovers below 50 indicates a manufacturing base that is still contracting (and anything over 50 shows that the manufacturing base is expanding), the new number – 49.4 – is close enough to 50, the neutral position that shows that the manufacturing base is staying steady.
Employment growth is still a relatively stagnant, though it isn’t contracting
Not all is sunshine and roses when it comes to the recent improvement in the manufacturing activity of Singapore, however.
Employment growth in this sector is still relatively stagnant. Manufacturing jobs are opening up but not at the kind of rate that the Singapore government would have liked to have seen by now, though the nine straight months of contraction has definitely played a part in this stagnation.
At the same time, the manufacturing sector isn’t losing jobs – it just isn’t creating as many new positions as economists in Singapore would have liked to have seen by now. This is putting Singaporean a better position than some of the other more manufacturing heavy economies around the world, and shows the Singapore investments in new technology, a new training, and in infrastructure are paying dividends.
It would be nice to see an explosion in growth as far as the manufacturing economy in Singapore is concerned, but that may still be a ways away.
New partnerships with the government of India will go a long way towards improving that economic base, and they are our conferences occurring all throughout Southeast Asia (and the rest of the world) with the express purpose of improving the manufacturing climate for all nations involved.
For the time being, it looks as though the manufacturing industries in Singapore are growing slowly – the only time will tell exactly how long term this turnaround really is.