Singapore Industrial Output Falls 3.1%

Singapore’s industrial production declined for the third straight month in December, largely due to a slump in the bio-medical manufacturing output, data from the Economic Development Board revealed on Thursday.

Industrial production dropped 3.1 percent year-on-year in December, slower than the 3.8 percent fall in November. Economists had expected a fall of 6.9 percent.

Excluding bio-medical manufacturing, industrial production rebounded 0.3 percent annually in December, following a 5.8 percent fall in the previous month.

On a monthly basis, industrial production climbed 3.2 percent in December, reversing a 1.6 percent fall in the prior month.

Earlier in the month, results of the SIPMM purchasing managers’ survey had shown that manufacturing sector remained in contraction for the fourth successive month in December, as output, new orders and inventory all fell at faster rates amid slowing electronic demand and price pressures.

Economic growth weakened sharply towards the end of the year 2022 as the manufacturing sector slid into contraction mainly due to falls in electronics and biomedical production.

Gross domestic product grew only 2.2 percent on a yearly basis in the fourth quarter, moderating from the 4.2 percent expansion in the preceding period.

Non-oil exports declined for the third straight month in December amid sharp falls in both shipments of electronic and non-electronic goods.

Among major clusters, production in the bio-medical manufacturing fell the most, by 20.3 percent annually in December, as the medical technology segment contracted 14.7 percent with lower export demand for medical devices, EDB data showed.

The chemical cluster logged a decline in output of 9.5 percent, led by a 7.1 percent output slump in the specialties segment due to lower production of industrial gases and food additives.

A 4.1 percent decline was observed in the precision engineering production. Manufacture of machinery & systems and precision modules, and components segments slid 0.7 percent and 11.2 percent respectively, with the latter recording lower production of electronic connectors and bonding wire.

Meanwhile, transport engineering output advanced 9.3 percent yearly in December, and that of electronics manufacturing also showed an increase of 4.6 percent.

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