Singapore’s manufacturing output expands at slower pace of 7.6pc in March

SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore’s manufacturing output rose 7.6 per cent year-on-year in March for a fifth consecutive month of growth, albeit at a slower pace than the previous months.

March’s expansion follows a 16.5-per-cent year-on-year increase in February, according to official data released yesterday.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew by 14.9 per cent in March.

The key electronics cluster led the growth in March with a 33.7-per-cent increase in output on a year-on-year basis.

This was attributed to the semiconductors segment expanding 37.8 per cent, supported by demand from cloud services, data centres and 5G markets, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

A worker at a manufacturing facility in Singapore. PHOTO: CNA

The computer peripherals and data storage segments also grew 27.4 per cent.

Other clusters that saw output growth include chemicals, which expanded 9.5 per cent, as well as precision engineering, which rose 5.6 per cent.

Biomedical manufacturing output contracted 6.6 per cent year-on-year in March, reversing the 22.1 per cent increase in February.

The medical technology segment grew 23.3 per cent with higher export demand for medical devices. On the other hand, the pharmaceuticals segment declined 9.6 per cent with lower output of biological products.

The transport engineering cluster continued its decline, contracting 20.6 per cent in March from the same period last year. The general manufacturing cluster fell at a slower pace, at -0.5 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, manufacturing output decreased by 1.7 per cent in March. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 3.2 per cent.