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Singapore's manufacturing output up 12.6% in February

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing output in February rose 12.6 per cent from a year ago, on the back of strong growth in the electronics and precision engineering clusters.

Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing cluster, output grew 17.1 per cent, according to data released on Friday (Mar 24) by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, industrial production fell 3.7 per cent in February, it added. 

Output of the electronics cluster jumped 39.8 per cent on-year last month, mainly due to robust growth of 63.6 per cent in the semiconductors segment. The other electronic modules and components and infocomms and consumer electronics segments also grew 16.5 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively. 

The output of the precision engineering cluster also expanded 26.2 per cent over the same period, with the machinery and systems segment posting strong growth of 33.2 per cent on the back of higher export demand for semiconductor-related equipment. The precision modules and components segment also grew 16.4 per cent with higher output of dies, moulds, tools, jigs and fixture, optical instruments and metal precision components. 

There were also increases in output in the general manufacturing industries cluster (3.3 per cent) and chemicals cluster (1.9 per cent), but declines in the biomedical manufacturing cluster (-2.6 per cent) and transport engineering cluster (-9.6 per cent). 

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Singapore's manufacturing output up 2.2% in January

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing output in January rose 2.2 per cent from a year ago, on the back of strong growth in the precision engineering and electronics clusters.

Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing, output grew 7 per cent, according to data released on Friday (Feb 24) by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, industrial production fell 6 per cent in January, it added. 

Output of the precision engineering sector grew 24 per cent on-year last month, with the machinery and systems segment posting 40.3 per cent growth mainly due to higher export demand for semiconductor-related equipment, EDB said. 

The output of the electronics sector also climbed 14.8 per cent over the same period, with the semiconductors and computer peripherals segments growing 25.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively. However, the other segments registered declines, the agency said.

The chemicals cluster’s output grew 3.5 per cent year-on-year last month, and the growth was led by the petroleum (20.7 per cent) and petrochemicals (17.4 per cent) segments due in part to the low base last year when there were some plant maintenance shutdowns. 

Additionally, declines were seen in the transport engineering (3.8 per cent), biomedical (13.5 per cent) and general manufacturing industries (13.8 per cent) clusters, EDB figures showed. 

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Singapore's December manufacturing output jumps 21.3% from previous year

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing output in December surged 21.3 per cent from a year ago, on the back of strong growth in electronics and pharmaceuticals output.

Excluding the more volatile biomedical manufacturing, output grew 16.1 per cent, according to data released on Thursday (Jan 26) by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). 

On a month-on-month seasonally-adjusted basis, industrial production rose 6.4 per cent in December 2016 compared to the previous month.

Overall, manufacturing output rose 3.6 per cent in 2016 over 2015.

STRONG ELECTRONICS, BIOMEDICAL PHARMACEUTICALS OUTPUT

Output from the key electronics cluster increased 49.4 per cent in December from a year ago. This was largely supported by the semiconductors segment, which saw output rise by 94 per cent. For the whole of 2016, output of the electronics cluster expanded 15.9 per cent compared to 2015. 

The biomedical manufacturing cluster, meanwhile, expanded 44.9 per cent year-on-year in December, said EDB. The growth was mainly due to the pharmaceuticals and medical technology segments, which expanded 53.8 per cent and 19 per cent respectively. The whole cluster grew 13.6 per cent in 2016 compared to the year before.

The precision engineering cluster saw an increase of 6.1 per cent in December compared to the same month last year. The machinery and systems segment grew 8.5 per cent with higher export demand for semiconductor related equipment, while the precision modules and components segment recorded higher output of industrial rubber, dies, moulds, tools, jigs and fixtures and metal precision components, added EDB.

In the chemicals cluster, output rose 4.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in December 2016. This was supported by higher output in the petrochemicals (18.4 per cent), petroleum (16.7 per cent) and specialties (4.1 per cent) segments. For the whole of 2016, output in the cluster fell 0.9 per cent compared to 2015.

In 2016, the general manufacturing industries’ output declined 2.5 per cent from a year ago, although it grew 2 per cent year-on-year in December 2016. EDB said this was mainly attributed to the 22.8 per cent growth in the food, beverages & tobacco segment. However, growth in the cluster was moderated by declines in the miscellaneous industries (-10.6 per cent) and printing (-14.6 per cent) segments. 

Data showed that transport engineering remained a drag. Production in the marine and offshore engineering segment declined 26.1 per cent year-on-year in December, with lower output in oilfield and gasfield equipment as well as ship building and repair jobs. However, the aerospace and land transport segments grew 15 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively.

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Singapore's manufacturing economy expands for fourth straight month

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory activity expanded for a fourth straight month in December, with the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) coming in at 50.6 last month, an increase of 0.4 point from November.

According to data from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) released on Tuesday (Jan 3), the expansion was attributed to a faster rate of expansion in factory output, inventory holding, as well as new orders and new exports.

The readings also indicate that “the overall manufacturing sector has moderated”, said SIPMM, adding that the latest data shows “resilience of the manufacturing sector in spite of the uncertainties in the global economy”.

A reading above 50 means the manufacturing economy is expanding, while a reading below that indicates a contraction.

A corresponding index for the electronics sector also posted an expansion, with the PMI for December standing at 51.2, an increase of 0.7 point from the previous month.

For the growth in Singapore’s manufacturing to be sustained, there must be stronger demand from global economies, said Mr Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank. “Manufacturing is about breaking even, picking up slightly, but the bottomline is it remains very tentative and how global relations play out with the feedback into global demand. We remember that overall exports demand has remained suppressed,” he explained.

China’s manufacturing sector, for example, expanded for a fifth straight month in December, but growth slowed a touch more than expected due to persistent weakness in exports.

Until there is a noticeable improvement in demand, “it will be difficult to suggest that the manufacturing sector globally is set for an imminent rebound”, said Mr Varathan.

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Singapore's manufacturing output up 11.9% in November

SINGAPORE: Industrial production in Singapore in November expanded at its fastest annual pace since March 2014, buoyed by strong electronics and pharmaceuticals output, data showed on Friday (Dec 23).

Manufacturing output in November jumped 11.9 per cent from a year earlier, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) showed. The median forecast in a Reuters survey predicted a 1.6 per cent expansion.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 6.4 per cent. 

On a month-on-month and seasonally-adjusted basis, industrial production rose 6.1 per cent in November, its strongest since January this year. The median forecast was for a contraction of 2.0 per cent. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 5.1 per cent month-on-month.

STRONG ELECTRONICS AND PHARMACEUTICALS OUTPUT

Output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster grew 34.8 per cent in November, compared to the same month last year, while the pharmaceuticals segment expanded 36.1 per cent. The growth was mainly due to a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products produced, said EDB. The medical technology segment also posted a growth of 30.8 per cent, with high export demand for medical instruments, it added. 

Meanwhile, the electronics cluster’s output increased 24.2 per cent in November on a year-on-year basis. According to EDB, growth in the cluster was largely attributed to the semiconductors segment, which grew 49.6 per cent.

Output of the precision engineering cluster grew 7.6 per cent, compared to a year ago. The machinery and systems segment grew 10 per cent as export demand for semiconductor-related equipment increased, while the precision modules and components segment recorded higher output of industrial rubber and dies, moulds, tools, jigs and fixtures. 

The chemicals cluster’s output rose 3.5 per cent, led by the petroleum segment which grew 22 per cent due to the low base effect last year as some plants shut down for maintenance, EDB said.

General manufacturing industries’ output declined 0.9 per cent year-on-year, mainly attributed to the miscellaneous industries and printing segments which contracted 4.5 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively.  

The transport engineer cluster’s output shrank the most, contracting 14.8 per cent compared to the same month last year. The land transport segment grew 12.2 per cent, but this was offset by declines in the aerospace and marine and offshore engineering segments. Meanwhile, the marine and offshore engineering segment remained weak as the low oil price environment continued to affect rig building activities and demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment. 

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Singapore's manufacturing economy expands for third straight month

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing economy continued on its uptrend, with the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in expansion mode over the last three straight months.  

According to data from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) released on Friday (Dec 2), November’s PMI came in at 50.2, up 0.2 point from the previous month. 

A reading above 50 means the manufacturing economy is expanding, while a reading below that indicates a contraction.

This comes on the back of slight improvements in new orders, new exports and factory output. 

However, the electronics sector grew at a slower pace, with the electronics PMI dipping by 0.3 point to come it at 50.5. This was due to slower expansion of new orders, new exports and factory output.

Singapore’s continued expansion of the manufacturing industry comes on the back of stronger PMI numbers from China, which is a key trading partner for the city-state. 

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2,000 PMET jobs to be created with new food manufacturing sector roadmap

SINGAPORE: A new industry transformation map to develop Singapore into the leading food and nutrition hub in Asia was launched on Friday (Nov 18), and it aims to create about 2,000 new jobs for professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) for the sector from now till 2020.

According to a SPRING Singapore press release, the roadmap aims to hit a 4.5 per cent compound annual growth rate in productivity. The industry transformation map is one of the 23 roadmaps to change Singapore’s key industries, and the fifth to be rolled out, it said.

The food manufacturing industry plays a significant role in Singapore’s economy, with more than half of its output being exported to countries such as Japan and China. In 2015, the industry contributed S$ 3.7 billion to Singapore’s GDP and employed about 40,000 workers, the agency said.

In terms of strengthening the ecosystem for food innovation and research and development (R&D), a Food Innovation Cluster will be set up. It will encourage the development and commercialisation of new products and the establishment of shared R&D and production facilities.

One example is the High Pressure Processing (HPP) resource sharing facility that will be launched in the second half of 2017. The facility gives companies access to the advanced technology without the need for them to invest in the equipment, SPRING Singapore said.

Expansion into the region and globally continues to be a key thrust for the roadmap, with the agency saying it worked closely with the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) to launch an online Singapore shop, Tasty Singapore, on China’s top e-commerce platforms, Tmall and JD.com.

Since then, more than 130 of Singapore food products offered by 27 companies have been listed on Tmall since July 2015, it added.

As for enhancing the existing talent pool, SPRING Singapore, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore, in close consultation with the industry and key stakeholders, will co-develop a Skills Framework to provide a common reference of current and emerging skills required for individuals, employers, and education and training providers for the Food Manufacturing industry.

The framework is expected to be completed by end of 2017, the agency said.  

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Singapore's manufacturing output falls 3.6% in July, first contraction in 5 months

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing output slumped 3.6 per cent in July from a year ago, contracting for the first time in five months, underlining concerns surrounding the country’s economic outlook.

July’s reading also marked the biggest slump since Dec 2015, when factory output shrunk 11.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, according to figures released by the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Friday (Aug 26). Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise of 0.9 per cent on-year.

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, factory output plunged 4.0 per cent in July, significantly higher than a forecast of minus 1.1 per cent.

The weaker-than-expected number “reinforced our negative view on the Singapore economy”, said Credit Suisse economist Michael Wan. He added that Friday’s economic data implied a weak gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the third quarter at around 1 per cent year-on-year, a moderation from economic growth of 2.1 per cent in the second quarter.

For Citi economist Kit Wei Zheng, “the risks of growth undershooting the already downshifted official expectations may have increased”. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) had narrowed the growth forecast for Singapore’s economy in 2016 to between 1 and 2 per cent, down from the initial range of between 1 and 3 per cent.

Such anaemic growth would mean that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) could ease monetary policy in October, by re-centering its exchange rate policy band lower, said Mr Wan.

Earlier this year, the central bank unexpectedly eased monetary policy in a move to stoke growth momentum, but had reiterated in July that there was no need to change its current monetary policy stance unless there was a marked deterioration in the global economy, or a significant shift in the inflation outlook. 

SECTOR BREAKDOWN

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, factory output fell 2 per cent year-on-year in July. Output from the biomedical manufacturing cluster had contracted 9.7 per cent compared to a year ago, with a 6.3 per cent rise in the medical technological segment unable to make up for the 14.1 percent fall in the pharmaceuticals segment.

Among the worst performers, the transport engineering sector’s output shrank 21.8 per cent, as the marine and offshore engineering segment contracted 33.4 per cent on the back of weak rig-building activities and demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment amid low oil prices.

The chemicals cluster’s output fell 3.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis, while the precision engineering cluster decreased 4.9 per cent in July. Output from the general manufacturing industries cluster fell 10.2 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

Lower level of rig building activity continued to weigh on transport engineering, while precision engineering remained downbeat due to fewer machinery orders, analysts said.

Bucking the downtrend, output from the electronics sector rose 16.2 per cent on-year, boosted by a 34 per cent surge in the semiconductor segment though this was partially offset by declines in the rest of the electronics segment.

However, Credit Suisse’s Mr Wan noted that even the strength in the electronics sector is showing some signs of moderation from the previous month’s 19 per cent gain.

As such, analysts largely tip a gloomy outlook for the all-important manufacturing sector, which has been a huge drag on Singapore’s economic growth.

Given ongoing tepid external demand conditions, OCBC Bank’s Head of Treasury Research & Strategy Selena Ling expects third-quarter domestic manufacturing growth to see a contraction of 1.7 per cent on-year, a reversal from the 1.1 per cent growth in the April to June quarter.

Data from last week also revealed a deepening export slump, with non-oil domestic exports (NODX) plunging 10.6 per cent on-year last month, widening from a 2.4 per cent drop in June.

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Singapore's manufacturing economy shrinks for 13th straight month

SINGAPORE: The Republic’s manufacturing economy shrank for the 13th straight month, according to the figures from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management (SIPMM) on Tuesday (Aug 2).

The July reading for the Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 49.3, down 0.3 point from the previous month. This was mainly due to lower new orders and new exports.

A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is expanding, while a reading below 50 generally means a decline.

Meanwhile, the electronics PMI showed a slowing rate of contraction, up 0.7 point from the previous month to 49.7.

One economist said the regional manufacturing outlook appears to be mixed as external demand continues to weigh on the region.

“China is actually a good leading indicator, given our economic relationship,” said Mr Edward Lee, regional head of research for Southeast Asia at Standard Chartered Bank. “It has been above 50 but not hugely above 50. Recently, it dipped below 50 again for its manufacturing PMI, suggesting that the overall economic demand, economic activity remains just at about the 50 sort of level. So not very strong at all and more on the weak side actually. I think this is a reflection of global demand.”

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