Why is industrial production declining in Singapore?

Earlier today we learned that the Singapore PMI was much weaker than expected for September 2009, coming in at 50.6 versus 54.4 for August. While this demonstrates that the manufacturing sector there is still rising, it is doing so just barely.  This was the lowest reading since April and should be seen as a clear indication that export-led growth in Asia is stalling.

When I searched the Internet for further word on this development and what other analysts were saying, I came up empty-handed. I am relatively bullish about the prospects of a multi-year recovery given my negative longer-term outlook.  A double-dip recession is not my baseline view, but it is certainly a strong possibility. We should watch the data flow from Asia as a canary in the coal mine suggesting a less robust near-term outlook.

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