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About 7 in 10 manufacturing firms see stable business outlook in next 6 months: EDB

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Some 70 per cent of firms in Singapore's manufacturing sector expect the business situation in the next six months ending March 2017 to remain similar to a quarter ago, the Economic Development Board (EBD) said on Monday.

SOME 70 per cent of firms in Singapore's manufacturing sector expect the business situation in the next six months ending March 2017 to remain similar to a quarter ago, the Economic Development Board (EBD) said on Monday.

EDB, which surveyed 432 manufacturing firms between September and October 2016, added that only 4 per cent expect a more favourable business situation for the October 2016 to March 2017 period.

Within the manufacturing sector, the electronics cluster is the most optimistic.

"This optimism is largely led by the semiconductors segment, in view of the seasonal pick-up in demand for chips," EDB said.

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However, the computer peripherals and infocomms and consumer electronics segments expect the business situation to deteriorate compared with the preceding quarter.

Within the biomedical sector, the pharmaceutical segment expects export demand to remain strong, while the majority of firms in the medical technology segment anticipate sustained demand for medical devices over the next six months ending March 2017, compared with the third quarter of 2016.

While the machinery and systems segment foresees better business prospects in semiconductor related equipment, those in the precision modules and components segment expect business situation to deteriorate. This is notably in the wire and cable and industrial rubber products industries.

Outlook for the marine and offshore engineering segment remains lacklustre, in line with the weak offshore exploration and drilling activities.

The petroleum segment remains spooked by weak refining margins. The petrochemicals and specialities segments expect a slowdown in business activities ahead due to seasonal factors.

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