SINGAPORE (April 3): Activity in Singapore factories expanded at a slightly faster pace in March, as the electronics sector rebounded to end a three-month slowdown, a survey showed on Monday.

The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 53.0 from the previous month's 52.7.

A reading below 50 suggests contraction, while one above that level points to expansion.    

The higher March reading "was mainly attributed to a faster growth in factory output, as well as higher new orders and new exports," the institute said, adding that new orders saw the highest readings since December 2009.

"The higher PMI reading was broad-based across most manufacturing sectors, indicating the resilience of the sectors," it said.

The PMI for the electronics sector climbed to 52.4 from February's 52.1, which was the lowest level in eight months.

Singapore's industrial production beat expectations in February, growing 8.9% from the year earlier on the back of a surge in electronics output.