TOKYO -- Singapore's private sector business activity rose for a second straight month and hit a five-month high in April on the back of stronger demand, greater output volumes and growth in employment, a survey said Monday, signalling a sharp turnaround in its activity from the sluggish first quarter.
The Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, jumped to 53.3 in April from 51.8 in March to post the highest reading since last November. It also marked a sharp turnaround from a sluggish pace of the first quarter, during which private-sector activity averaged just 50.6.
A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points toward contraction.
"Growth momentum in Singapore's economy continued to build at the start of the second quarter, with new orders and output rising at faster rates, helping to drive job creation and lift sentiment toward the year-ahead outlook," said Joe Hayes, economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey. There are also signs that "export conditions were becoming more supportive, with reports of greater appetite for goods and services from other Southeast Asian markets," he added.
"At current levels, the PMI is indicative of GDP expanding at an annual rate of around 4%, which would be a notable turnaround from the subdued figure seen in Q1," Hayes said.
For more information, visit IHS Markit website.