SINGAPORE: Singapore's manufacturing output rose 2.7 per cent in December from a year ago, boosted again by a jump in pharmaceuticals output, according to data released by the Economic Development Board on Friday (Jan 25).
However, the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 11 economists predicted a 4.4 per cent expansion. It was also slower than the 7.6 per cent year-on-year growth seen in November.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 1.8 per cent.
On a seasonally adjusted, month-on-month basis, industrial production decreased 5.6 per cent, compared with a revised 3.1 per cent growth in November.
Overall, manufacturing for the whole of 2018 rose 7.2 per cent over the previous year.
Pharmaceuticals production in December rose 41.2 per cent, helping to drive biomedical manufacturing output to a 29.9 per cent increase.
Transport engineering output rose 23.7 per cent with the marine and offshore engineering segment expanding 31.8 per cent. The aerospace segment also grew 22.3 per cent as repair and maintenance activities for commercial airlines increased.
Chemicals output dipped 1.4 per cent even as the specialties segment grew 8.5 per cent. However, output for other chemicals fell 2.3 per cent and petrochemicals fell 10.6 per cent due to a maintenance shutdown.
General manufacturing output dropped 5.7 per cent, largely due to a 7.2 per cent decrease in production for the printing segment as well as the food, beverage and tobacco segment, which declined 9.6 per cent due to lower output in beverage products.
Electronics production decreased 6.8 per cent while precision engineering output fell 8.7 per cent, with a 21.6 per cent decline in precision modules and components segment.