Singapore factory output grows 13.8% in May as semiconductor production surges

SINGAPORE’S factory output in May grew faster than the previous month on the back of a surge in semiconductor production, according to data from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday (Jun 24).

Industrial production grew 13.8 per cent year on year, up from a revised 6.4 per cent in April.

Excluding the usually volatile biomedical manufacturing, May’s output rose 18 per cent, compared with 8 per cent in the previous month.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output grew 10.9 per cent, while the figure is 9.8 per cent excluding biomedical manufacturing.

Electronics production jumped 33.6 per cent year on year in May, compared with just 10.4 per cent the previous month.

In particular, semiconductor output surged 45.7 per cent year on year, improving from April’s 12.9 per cent and helping to offset contractions in other segments. EDB said this comes from strong demand from 5G markets and data centres amid the global chip shortage.

Transport engineering growth eased in May to 12.9 per cent year on year, from 16.6 per cent in the previous month. The aerospace segment expanded 27.2 per cent, up from 24.2 per cent in April, as the easing of global air travel restrictions have led to a higher production of aircraft parts as well as more maintenance, repair and overhaul jobs from commercial airlines.

Other sectors that saw growth were:

  • General manufacturing (9 per cent)
  • Precision engineering (3.2 per cent)

Meanwhile, biomedical manufacturing shrank for the third straight month, with output in May declining 7.2 per cent year on year, compared with a 1.1 per cent contraction in the previous month.

EDB noted that the medical technology segment grew 2.7 per cent with higher demand for medical devices from the US and euro zone, whereas the pharmaceuticals segment contracted 14.8 per cent due to “a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients being produced”.

Chemicals output shrank 3.4 per cent year on year, on par with April’s decline, dragged by a steep contraction in the petrochemicals segment.