Singapore Nov factory output down 2.8% in weakest performance this year

Workers at Add-Plus, an electronics manufacturing company that makes printed circuit boards. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Workers at Add-Plus, an electronics manufacturing company that makes printed circuit boards. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Factories turned in a dismal performance in November, with production contracting 2.8 per cent over the same month last year.

The latest data - the manufacturing sector's weakest showing this year - came in way below economists' forecasts of a 0.3 per cent uptick in production.

The biomedical manufacturing, transport engineering, chemicals and general manufacturing segments all experienced shrinking output, according to data released on Friday by the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The general manufacturing industries cluster saw the worst decline last month, with output falling 10.2 per cent over November 2013. This was partly due to a high base in the output of steel structural components last year, EDB said.

The volatile biomedical manufacturing segment, which surged 22.5 per cent in October over the same month last year, declined 1.1 per cent year-on-year in November.

Take out biomedical - the second-biggest segment in manufacturing - and overall factory output would have slumped by 3.1 per cent.