Singapore's Feb factory output falls 4.7%

SINGAPORE - Factory output in Singapore suffered a bigger-than-expected decline of 4.7 per cent year-on-year in February, hurt by weakness in heavyweight electronics production and marine and offshore engineering output.

Excluding the biomedical sector - which grew 5.8 per cent last month - overall output would have fallen by a larger 7.4 per cent, said the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Thursday.

EDB added that after adjusting for seasonal factors, industrial production fell 4.8 per cent in February. If biomedical manufacturing were to be stripped out, output would have fallen 2.1 per cent.

The heavyweight electronics cluster went back into contraction mode in February. Electronics output fell 2.1 per cent as semiconductors posted a 10.8 per cent drop and infocomms and consumer electronics shrank 10.7 per cent.

But apart from the biomedical manufacturing and chemicals clusters, manufacturing output declined across the board.

Transport engineering performed the worst, posting a 14.5 per cent drop in February, as the marine & offshore engineering segment contracted 23.1 per cent.

Output of general manufacturing, and precision engineering clusters fell 0.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent year-on-year respectively.

gleong@sph.com.sg