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The Week in Numbers: Strong U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls

In Singapore, the Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 52.6 in April, up from 52.2 in March. This marked the highest reading in five months. The growth seen in April was supported by expansions in output and new orders. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 corresponds to a contraction.

The Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) rose to a record level since August 2015 on Wednesday, closing at 3,238 points. It ended Friday at 3,230, clocking gains of 1.7% for the week.

In the ASEAN region, manufacturing continued picking up, mainly due to prospering domestic markets and an increase in global demand. The Nikkei Asean Manufacturing PMI was 51.1 in April, a rise from 50.9 in March. The rate of improvement was the quickest recorded in 33 months.

In the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job creation last month bounced back from a disappointing March, with nonfarm payrolls rising by 211,000. The sectors that saw job gains were leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, financial activities, and mining. Meanwhile, the U.S.’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4%, the lowest level in 10 years.

And finally, East Japan Railway Company has started a luxury train service called Shiki-Shima, offering sky views, fine dining, bathtubs, gold coloured carriage and dark wood interiors. The top suite, dubbed Train Suite Shiki-Shima, is going for US$10,000 per person for a four-day trip from Tokyo to Hokkaido. If you are thinking of booking a ticket for yourself and your spouse for a romantic getaway, you might be disappointed to know that the train was fully booked till March 2018 within just days of its launch.

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