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Singapore Factory Output Up 11.1%

Singapore Factory Output Up 11.1%Singapore Factory Output Up 11.1%

Singapore’s factory production continued to outperform in May, defying expectations that the manufacturing sector will cool. Overall output grew by 11.1% last month from a year ago, according to data from the Economic Development Board on Tuesday.

This beat April’s growth of 9.1% and also came in higher than economists’ expectations of a 9% increase. Excluding the biomedical manufacturing cluster, output grew 9.8% year on year, CNA reported.

This time round, growth was not across the board as it was in April, but the key electronics cluster continued as a strong driver for the sector with output expanding 17.1%. Semiconductors were again outstanding, posting robust growth of 26.9%, up from 15% in April, while the rest of the electronic segments registered a fall in output.

May’s factory scorecard was also helped by the stronger rebound in the volatile biomedical sector, which expanded by 17.7%, up from 8.2% growth in April and two consecutive months of decline before that. General manufacturing also picked up with a 5.2% growth in output from 2.8% in April.

Chemicals output growth was lower at 8.6% from 12.5% the previous month, while precision engineering output dropped to 0.8% from 7% in April. Growth in the transport engineering segment slowed to 3% from 9.6% on a 15.1% fall in land transport output.

Analysts have been expecting  electronics manufacturing to slow this year, not just because of a high base last year, but also due to shipments of electronics flattening out and the cloud of  more protectionist policies from the US and growing trade friction.

On a month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased by 0.4% from May 2017, excluding biomedical manufacturing, output which fell 1.2%.

 

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