SINGAPORE, June 5 (Reuters) - Manufacturing activity in Singapore expanded slightly in May, reversing a contraction in April as orders and inventories rose, the latest Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) showed.
The sub-indicator for employment, however, contracted for the 11th straight month, the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM) said on Tuesday.
Singapore's PMI stood at 50.4 points in May, recovering from 49.7 in April. A reading above 50 indicates an increase in manufacturing activity while a number below 50 shows a contraction.
A separate PMI for Singapore's important electronics sector stayed in positive territory for the fifth straight month with a May reading of 50.8, down from April's 51.5, SIPMM said.
Asian companies have been hit by weak demand in the West as well as a slowdown in China.
HSBC, which compiles a PMI measuring business activity in Hong Kong, said on Tuesday the territory's index declined to 49.4 in May from 50.3 in April as new orders from China fell for a second consecutive month and employment contracted at a faster pace.
Global manufacturing activity expanded at its weakest pace in five months in May with a battered Europe proving the main drag on growth, a PMI produced by JPMorgan showed on Friday.
SINGAPORE OVERALL PMI May Apr Mar Feb Jan Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug 50.4 49.7 50.2 50.4 48.7 49.5 48.7 49.5 48.3 49.4
Electronics Index 50.8 51.5 51.5 51.0 50.5 49.7 50.9 52.1 47.2 48.0
New Export Orders Index 50.8 51.3 51.0 50.5 49.0 49.5 47.3 46.8 47.6 48.7
- Singapore's PMI is produced ahead of government data on manufacturing and exports.
- Economists who cover Singapore say the PMI does not appear to track activity in pharmaceuticals, which has been Singapore's fastest-growing manufacturing sector in recent years.
- For more PMI reports from around the world, see (Reporting by Kevin Lim)