SINGAPORE - Factories turned in yet another disappointing report card last month with broad declines across segments.
Manufacturing output shrank 0.3 per cent in June over the same month a year ago, lower than economists' expectations of a 0.5 per cent increase.
Growth was weighed down by biomedical manufacturing, which contracted 10.2 per cent compared with the same month a year ago. The medical technological segment grew 10.2 per cent but this was offset by a 15.3 per cent fall in the pharmaceutical segment, data from the Economic Development Board showed.
If the biomedical cluster had been excluded, overall manufacturing output would have grown 2.4 per cent.
June's contraction in factory activity comes after output rose by 0.9 per cent in May on the back of a jump in the volatile biomedical cluster.
Besides biomedical manufacturing, general manufacturing, chemicals and transport engineering also experienced declines in output in June.
However, there were bright spots.
Electronics, which makes up about a third of manufacturing output, grew 19.7 per cent in June. The cluster recorded higher output in the semiconductor (39.1 per cent) and data storage (11 per cent) segments. However, this was partially offset by declines in the rest of the electronic segments.
Output of the precision engineering cluster also increased 4.3 per cent from a year ago.