SINGAPORE - Factory output contracted for the seventh consecutive month in August, performing worse than private-sector forecasters had tipped.
The latest manufacturing data, which showed output sliding 7 per cent last month over the same period a year ago, came in way below the 5.3 per cent decline forecast by economists in a Bloomberg poll.
There were broad declines last month across almost all factory clusters, except chemicals, which grew 3.7 per cent in August over the same month last year. The cluster's growth was lifted by the specialties, petrochemicals and petroleum segments.
The biomedical, electronics, general manufacturing, transport engineering and precision engineering clusters all suffered declines in output.
If biomedical manufacturing were excluded, overall manufacturing output would have fallen a steeper 8.1 per cent.