Singapore’s February factory output down a sharp 8.9% in fifth month of contraction

SINGAPORE’S factory output contracted more sharply in February, dragged by a steeper production decline in pharmaceuticals and electronics, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) showed on Friday (Mar 24).

Industrial production (IP) fell 8.9 per cent year on year in February, down from 3.1 per cent in the previous month. This marks the fifth month of contraction.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, which is typically volatile, output fell 4.9 per cent year on year.

Biomedical manufacturing was the worst performing cluster in February, clocking an overall contraction of 33.6 per cent year on year.

The pharmaceuticals segment was the main drag as production tumbled 59 per cent due to a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients being produced, compared to a year ago, EDB said. The decline could not offset the 13.7 per cent expansion in the medical technology segment, which saw higher export demand for medical devices.

Electronics output fell 10 per cent year on year in February, with most segments declining other than the computer peripherals and data storage segments, which had paltry growth.

Chemicals production contracted 14.9 per cent year on year, led mostly by the poor-performing petrochemicals segment.

Meanwhile, transport engineering was February’s brightest spot, hitting year-on-year growth of 22.9 per cent in February.

This was supported by a 41 per cent jump in the marine and offshore engineering segment, due to higher level of activities in the shipyard as well as increased production of oil and gas field equipment.

Other clusters with year-on-year growth in output were:

  • Precision engineering (4.9 per cent)
  • General manufacturing (0.5 per cent)

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, output shrank 11.7 per cent in February, compared with the previous month’s 0.4 per cent contraction. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, the decrease was 8.1 per cent.

Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/singapore/singapores-february-factory-output-down-sharp-89-fifth-month-contraction