Singapore May factory output falls bigger-than-expected 2.3% in 4th straight monthly drop

Singapore's industrial production fell 2.3 per cent in May, in the fourth straight month of year-on-year contraction.
Singapore's industrial production fell 2.3 per cent in May, in the fourth straight month of year-on-year contraction. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's industrial production fell 2.3 per cent in May, in the fourth straight month of year-on-year contraction as the Republic battled headwinds to growth from sluggish global demand.

The median estimate in a Reuters survey of 12 economists was for factory output to fall 2.1 per cent.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 2.2 per cent in May, figures from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) showed on Friday.

In April, manufacturing output slid 8.7 per cent year-on-year, the biggest drop on data going back to April 2013.

Output rose 2.4 per cent in May from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, rebounding from a 5.8 per cent slide in April. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, production grew 1.1 per cent.

Data released last week showed that Singapore's non-oil domestic exports fell 0.2 per cent in May from a year earlier as sales to China and Europe declined.

A recent survey of purchasing managers, however, offered tentative signs of a pick-up in manufacturing activity. The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's purchasing managers' index rose to 50.2 in May, showing that manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in six months.