Manufacturing churns out strong growth in January

Electronics registered a 32.4 per cent year-on-year surge in output last month, thanks mainly to the semiconductor, infocomms and consumer electronics and computer peripherals segments.
Electronics registered a 32.4 per cent year-on-year surge in output last month, thanks mainly to the semiconductor, infocomms and consumer electronics and computer peripherals segments.PHOTO: REUTERS

Manufacturers are on course for another bumper year after starting 2018 on a high note.

Output shot up 17.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier, well ahead of economists' forecasts of a 7.5 per cent increase.

While the strong numbers were in part due to the low base level in January last year, when the Chinese New Year holidays occurred, strong demand across the world for electronic gadgets is proving to be a major factor. That demand largely drove the sector's strong expansion here last year, and it looks like more of the same this year.

Electronics registered a 32.4 per cent year-on-year surge in output last month, thanks mainly to the semiconductor, infocomms and consumer electronics and computer peripherals segments. That, in turn, has lifted precision engineering, which boosted production 24.5 per cent year on year last month.

"This is a synchronised global recovery, which is why manufacturing continues to do well," said DBS economist Irvin Seah.

SEE BUSINESS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2018, with the headline 'Manufacturing churns out strong growth in January'. Print Edition | Subscribe