SINGAPORE'S industrial production in April expanded 2.9 per cent from a year ago, beating market expectations of a 0.2 per cent fall.
Here are some comments from Francis Tan, UOB economist:
"The key driver for April's manufacturing activity was again due to a strong uptick in the output from the biomedical manufacturing cluster. Indeed, excluding the contributions of the biomedical manufacturing cluster, IP (industrial production) fell 0.1 per cent year-on-year (yoy).
"The two clusters that expanded at a double-digit pace were the biomedical manufacturing and electronics cluster. That said, the manufacturing sector is not fully out of the pit-hole as several other clusters remain in a contraction mode.
"The better-than-expected April IP numbers may point to green shoots for Singapore's manufacturers in the coming months, and reverse the contractionary trend seen over the past 18 months.
"Going forward, the low base effects from a weak IP last year, together with expectations of the continued economic recovery in the US, may provide a boost to the on-year manufacturing growth numbers. We maintain our 2016 industrial production forecast of a 2.5 per cent growth on the back of the reasons above."