SINGAPORE: Singapore's manufacturing output in December surged 21.3 per cent from a year ago, on the back of strong growth in electronics and pharmaceuticals output.
Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing, output grew 16.1 per cent, according to data released on Thursday (Jan 26) by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, industrial production rose 6.4 per cent in December 2016 compared to the previous month.
Overall, manufacturing output rose 3.6 per cent in 2016 over 2015.
STRONG ELECTRONICS, BIOMEDICAL PHARMACEUTICALS OUTPUT
Output from the key electronics cluster increased 49.4 per cent in December from a year ago. This was largely supported by the semiconductors segment, which saw output rise by 94 per cent. For the whole of 2016, output of the electronics cluster expanded 15.9 per cent compared to 2015.
The biomedical manufacturing cluster, meanwhile, expanded 44.9 per cent year-on-year in December, said EDB. The growth was mainly due to the pharmaceuticals and medical technology segments, which expanded 53.8 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. The whole cluster grew 13.6 per cent in 2016 compared to the year before.
The precision engineering cluster saw an increase of 6.1 per cent in December compared to the same month last year. The machinery and systems segment grew 8.5 per cent with higher export demand for semiconductor related equipment, while the precision modules and components segment recorded higher output of industrial rubber, dies, moulds, tools, jigs and fixtures and metal precision components, added EDB.
In the chemicals cluster, output rose 4.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in December 2016. This was supported by higher output in the petrochemicals (18.4 per cent), petroleum (16.7 per cent) and specialties (4.1 per cent) segments. For the whole of 2016, output in the cluster fell 0.9 per cent compared to 2015.
In 2016, the general manufacturing industries' output declined 2.5 per cent from a year ago, although it grew 2 per cent year-on-year in December 2016. EDB said this was mainly attributed to the 22.8 per cent growth in the food, beverages & tobacco segment. However, growth in the cluster was moderated by declines in the miscellaneous industries (-10.6 per cent) and printing (-14.6 per cent) segments.
Data showed that transport engineering remained a drag. Production in the marine and offshore engineering segment declined 26.1 per cent year-on-year in December, with lower output in oilfield and gasfield equipment as well as ship building and repair jobs. However, the aerospace and land transport segments grew 15 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively.