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Singapore logs 1.9 per cent drop in manufacturing output

Posted: 27 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:manufacturing? transport engineering? biomedical? medical technology?

The Singapore Economic Development Board reported a 1.9 per cent decline on-year in the country's manufacturing output for December 2014, which was caused by a drop in the transport engineering and general manufacturing sectors, Channel News Asia reported.

However, December's record is still better than expected. Economists earlier predicted that the output would fall by 4 per cent. These figures will aid in the overall growth figures for the said year. According to advance estimates, Singapore's full-year economic growth was pegged at 2.8 per cent.

Going down to the specifics, the precision engineering cluster's output grew 10.9 per cent on-year in December, with the precision modules and components segment growing 8.4 per cent, and the machinery and systems segment gaining 12.9 per cent.

On the other hand, the cluster with the biggest decrease in output came from transport engineering, which fell 6.8 per cent on-year in the same month. The aerospace segment also decreased with a whopping 16.6 per cent because of a weak demand for engine repairs.

The electronics cluster suffered the same fate, with a decline of 2.4 per cent. Although the other electronics modules and components as well as infocomms and consumer electronics segments rose 21.7 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively, the weak performances of the other segments dragged the figures down.

Meanwhile, output for the biomedical manufacturing cluster declined by 1 per cent. While the medical technology segment gained 1.9 per cent due to strong export demand for new medical devices, pharmaceuticals output fell 1.8 per cent.

In the report by Channel News Asia, United Overseas Bank economist Francis Tan said, "The good news actually came from the medical technologies segment. With the medical technologies segment seeing strong growth over so many months before December last year, we are likely to see that this segment will continue to grow."

"Being in a very unique and specialised area in biomedical manufacturing, I see that Singapore actually has a comparative advantage in making such products and devices," he added.

With the United States' improving economy, economists seem to agree that Singapore's manufacturing will also rise, but they warn of a possible strain coming from the "slowing Chinese and sluggish Japanese economies." Generally, though, they believe the country's manufacturing sector will perform better this year.

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