Singapore manufacturing output up 9.1% in April on broad-based growth

All manufacturing clusters saw expansion in April, with the chemicals and electronics clusters showing the biggest growth.
All manufacturing clusters saw expansion in April, with the chemicals and electronics clusters showing the biggest growth.PHOTO: ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Singapore's factory output increased 9.1 per cent in April, coming in slightly higher than economist expectations of 8 per cent, according to data from the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday (May 25).

This also beat March's revised industrial production growth of 6.1 per cent. Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing cluster, April's output grew 9.3 per cent last month.

All manufacturing clusters saw expansion in April, with the chemicals and electronics clusters showing the biggest growth.

Electronics output expanded by 11.3 per cent per cent in April, powered mainly by the semiconductors and computer peripherals segments with output growth of 15.4 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively, while the rest of the electronic segments registered output declines.

Chemicals production increased 12.4 per cent, with all segments recording higher output. Growth was mainly led by the petrochemicals segment, which posted robust growth of 27.1 per cent, due in part to low base last year where some plants had maintenance shutdown.

Precision engineering output went up 7.2 per cent, boosted by the machinery & systems segment, which grew 7.7 per cent, on account of higher production of process control equipment, refrigerating systems and semiconductor-related equipment.

Transport engineering saw a 8.3 per cent increase in production in April, mainly attributed to the aerospace and land transport segments, which expanded 22.2 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively. However, the marine and offshore engineering segment contracted 5.8 per cent, on account of lower levels of activities in shipbuilding and repairing.

As for biomedical manufacturing, output went up 8.2 per cent in April. Pharmaceuticals grew 10.7 per cent on the back of higher production in pharmaceutical and biological products.

General manufacturing production ticked up 3.3 per cent, driven by the miscellaneous industries and food, beverages and tobacco segments, which grew 7.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 0.2 per cent in April. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 2.4 per cent.

The manufacturing data comes one day after Singapore released its first-quarter economic results. The economy expanded 4.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, with growth once again led by the manufacturing sector, which grew 9.8 per cent.