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Singapore private sector expands in August

Staff Writer |
Singapore's private sector economy expanded in August driven by output and new orders, survey results from Markit showed.

The Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 52.3 in August from 50.7 in July. The reading signaled the fourth successive monthly improvement in operating conditions.

Both output and new orders expanded further and at faster rates than those seen in the previous month. Stronger overall demand and a solid accumulation of outstanding work led firms to increase their staffing levels for the first time since February.

Prices data saw divergent cost trends, with purchasing prices falling but salaries rising. Prices charged meanwhile rose slightly for the second month in a row.

"A solid increase in backlogs of work meanwhile suggests that Singaporean private sector firms may raise output further in the coming months, particularly with purchasing activity moving back into growth territory," Annabel Fiddes, an economist at IHS Markit, said.

"IHS Markit forecast that Singapore's GDP will expand by 1.7% in 2016," Fiddes said.

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